Storm damage: Filing insurance claims

Local

UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY-TV) — Wednesday afternoon’s storms left Utica scattered with damage. Trees, large branches and wires came down and littered the streets, but this was not the first storm to cause damage in Utica and it will likely not be the last.

Cathy Letay, the claims manager at Scalzo, Zogby & Wittig, Inc. Insurance, recommends that if your property, personal belongings, or vehicle are damaged in a storm that you take the following steps:

  1. Secure property & prevent further damage
  2. Call your insurance agent or company
  3. Take photos

“If there’s, god forbid, a tree on the roof you need to do whatever is necessary to prevent further damage,” Letay explained.

“So, you would contact a contractor, someone to get out there, to remove the tree and tarp the property. Again, do anything you can to prevent any further damage.”

Once you have secured the property to prevent further damage, call your insurance agent or company. They will help you estimate the cost of repairs and connect you with an adjustor. An adjustor will visit your property to assess the damage and determine how much your insurance will cover.

The next step is to take photos. Letray said, “I always tell people the more photos you take the better so that you can document the damage.”

“Obviously, you’re not going to take photos in the rain storm or when there’s lightening, but when things are settled get out there and take some photos while you’re waiting for the contractor. When the contractor does come, if he can remove the tree do that. Take photos of the damage if you can. Again, these roofs are high and you don’t want people climbing on the roof, but if the contractor can get up there, if he can take a couple photos with your camera that’s great. If they can’t, that’s okay.”

If the contractor is unable to get photos or you don’t have access to a camera yourself the adjustor will be able to take them for you.

According to Letray, protecting your property is the most important step.

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