What NJ storm victims need to know about filing an insurance claim
Filing a claim for damage from the weekend nor'easter that caused coastal flooding in New Jersey can be just as much of an insurance headache as Superstorm Sandy caused for many, even if the flooding was only minor.
Andy Anderson, co-owner of Anderson Insurance Agency in southern Ocean County, said having only six inches of water in a building does almost as much damage as three feet of water.
"You still have to remove that bottom four feet, the cabinets, the doors, the trim, the flooring, the insulation under the floor," Anderson said.
Sandy-impacted homeowners who filed claims with the National Flood Insurance Program can file a second claim for damage from the latest storm. However, Anderson cautioned residents to be prepared to provide good, clear documentation and receipts of all of the work that was done following the hurricane.
"Invoices, canceled checks, credit card bills, that sort of thing, otherwise they won't pay for this flood. The National Flood Insurance Program requires proof that prior damage has been repaired before they'll pay for it a second time," Anderson said.
Anderson noted that his agency is informing people who have been calling about flooding from the Nor'easter, that in addition to the things they did to present their claim from Sandy, they'll have to make all of those records available to the insurance adjuster.
"From our observations so far, we're not seeing people with flood damage from this storm that did not experience flooding during Sandy, unless they did not have a flood policy during Sandy, and there's some of that that will certainly occur, where somebody did not have flood insurance and they had to take care of the damages themselves, then they went out and bought a flood policy. So, to them, this is going to be a new experience of going through the flood claim settlement procedure," Anderson said.
Preliminary reports from Long Beach Island, have been encouraging so far after the weekend storm, according to Anderson. He added LBI faired much butter than areas south of Ventnor City, Atlantic County.
"I consider ourselves lucky. It looks like beach replenishment projects, while they suffered damages, did their job," Anderson said.