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AAA Insurance: Tips for Those with Flooded Homes and Cars
What a mess. The snow, sleet and torrential rains falling across Connecticut are not only unwelcomed at this time of year, they may also be costly for those whose vehicles or homes have been damaged by the heavy flooding that followed.
“There are several steps that homeowners and vehicle owners can take to minimize the damage and to ensure that their claim is processed appropriately,” says Greg Lauria, Regional Director for AAA Insurance.
AAA Insurance offers tips for those who now have to navigate auto and homeowner’s insurance coverage and claims.
AAA Tips on Auto Insurance Claims:
- Physical damage to a car caused by flooding is covered under the optional comprehensive portion of an auto policy.
- Car owners should contact their insurance company to determine the extent of coverage before seeking repairs.
- Take photographs of any visible damage.
- Any vehicle sustaining flood damage should be fully inspected before being allowed back on the road. Mechanical components, computer systems, engine, transmission, axles, brake system and fuel system impacted by water contamination may render the vehicle unfit to drive and in many cases vehicles sustaining significant water damage will be determined to be a total loss.
AAA Tips on Home Insurance Coverage
- Water that seeps into a home from the ground up is considered flooding and would be covered by flood insurance, which is provided by the National Flood Insurance Program and a few private insurers. Flood insurance is available to both homeowners and renters. Flood damage is not covered by standard homeowners or renters insurance policies.
- Homeowners policies also include additional living expenses—in the event a home is severely damaged by an insured disaster; this would pay for reasonable expenses incurred by living elsewhere while the home is being fixed or rebuilt.
AAA Tips on Homeowners Insurance Claims:
- The first step to recovery is inspecting your home for damage and then notifying your insurance company as soon as possible.
- Prepare an inventory and take photographs of damaged property.
- Store undamaged property in a protected place if possible.
- If carpet is soaked, remove the carpet and the carpet pad.Keep a two-foot square piece for the claims adjuster.
- Look for hazards such as broken or leaking gas lines, flooded electrical circuits, submerged furnaces or electrical appliances and damaged sewage systems.
- Proceed with extreme caution as you inspect your basement. There may be hazards from electrical lines and heating units.If your basement has flooded, do not pump it out all at once.Remove about one-third of the water per day.The wet ground surrounding your basement may cause the floors to buckle and the walls to collapse.
- Remove contaminated materials from the home. Be aware of exposure to mold.
- Carpeting, mattresses and upholstered furniture should be disposed of or cleaned and disinfected by a professional cleaner.
- Test drywall for moisture softness. If soft, cut holes at base to help dry out.
- If possible run the AC, dehumidifier and fans constantly.
- Open cabinet doors and elevate furniture allowing air to circulate.
- Be present when the adjuster inspects your damage.
Among the services being provided by AAA in Greater Hartford:
AAA Insurance customers with damage to their homes or autos can begin filing claims immediately. Claims representatives are ready to assist 24 hours a day. The number is (888) 222-0086.
If not insured through AAA Insurance please contact your insurance provider.
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CT Mailing Address:
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West Hartford, CT 06119
AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 58 million members nationwide and more than one million members in Connecticut. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.aaa.com.