RICHMOND — Virginia and much of the East Coast are
watching closely as Hurricane Sandy makes its way up the Atlantic Ocean, serving
as a reminder that we still have more than a month to go before hurricane season
ends. With this in mind, the State Corporation Commission’s (SCC) Bureau of Insurance
encourages Virginians to take steps now to protect their physical and financial
well-being should a hurricane or other disaster strike.
The Bureau of Insurance offers the following tips that could make filing an insurance
claim easier in the event of a disaster:
- Know Your Insurance Coverage – Review your insurance policies before disaster strikes.
Make sure you understand what is and is not covered and contact your insurance agent
or company if you have questions. Keep in mind that flood damage is not covered
by a standard homeowners or renter's insurance policy.
- Collect Your Insurance Information – Store copies of your insurance policies with
your home inventory in a waterproof, fireproof box or safe. Make sure you have a
copy of your policy, as well as your insurance cards. Make a list that includes
your policy numbers and contact information for your insurance company and insurance
agent including phone numbers, website addresses and mailing addresses. Take this
information with you if you have to evacuate in case you have questions or need
to file a claim.
- Protect Your Property – To mitigate some of the damage a hurricane or tropical storm
might cause, clear your yard of debris, lawn furniture and other loose items that
could become projectiles in high winds; trim dead or overhanging branches from trees
surrounding your home, and clean gutters. Review your home to make sure doors are
latched properly and the roof is secure.
- After the Storm – If a hurricane damages your property, notify your insurance agent
or company and file your insurance claim(s) as quickly as possible. Make any necessary
emergency repairs and take reasonable steps to protect your property from further
Make a list of all damage to the house and its contents, and include photographs,
notes, and repair-related receipts. Do not have permanent repairs made until your
insurance company has inspected the property and you have reached an agreement on
the cost of repairs. If your home is damaged to the extent that you cannot live
there, ask your insurance company or insurance agent if you have coverage for additional
The Bureau of Insurance offers free consumer guides for homeowners and commercial
property owners with information about what to do when a disaster strikes. These
and many other consumer insurance guides are available on the Bureau’s website at
The Bureau’s specially trained staff can assist consumers with their insurance-related
questions and concerns. For more information, contact the Consumer Services Section
of the Bureau’s Property and Casualty Division toll-free at 1-877-310-6560 or in
Richmond at (804) 371-9185. Consumers who are hearing or speech impaired may call
through the SCC’s Telecommunications Device for the Deaf and hard of hearing (TDD)
at (804) 371-9206. The mailing address for the Bureau of Insurance is P.O. Box 1157,
Richmond, VA 23218.
For additional emergency preparedness information relating to hurricanes and other
types of disasters, visit www.ready.virginia.gov.
This statewide public education effort is designed to prepare Virginians for all