July 10, 2006
ATTORNEY GENERAL CURRAN OFFERS TIPS TO PREPARE FOR
are rare in Maryland, its location on the mid-Atlantic coast
is a hotspot for damages caused by the tropical
storms that follow in a hurricane’s wake. Hurricane season
began last month, and will stay active until late fall, and Maryland
residents have already felt the detrimental effects of major storms.
As homeowners and citizens alike work to clean up the mess of flooding
from major thunderstorms that hit last month, Maryland Attorney
General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. and his office’s People’s
Insurance Counsel Division offer homeowners and Maryland citizens
the following tips and precautionary measures to prepare:
Measures to Take in Your Home
• Take photos or videos of your property;
Record an inventory of your belongings – include clothes,
jewelry, furniture, audio/visual equipment, computers, and other
• Keep records of sales receipts;
• Keep records of model and serial numbers of all items;
• Store copies of this documentation outside of your home.
Review Your Insurance Policy
Standard homeowner insurance policies do not cover flood damage.
The standard Named Perils Policy (HO 2) covers only those perils
specifically named under the policy, such as fire, windstorm, hail
or theft. A named perils policy will also specify exclusions to
the perils named under the policy. An All-Risk policy (HO 3) offers
broad protection and covers all perils except those that are specifically
excluded (e.g. flood). It is important to review your policy and
to understand what coverage you have, and decide what coverage
you may need.
you know what coverage you have?
• Does your policy cover debris removal and sewer back-up?
• Does your policy cover the expenses of a temporary residence if you are
unable to live in your home?
• What is your deductible?
• Is your coverage for actual cash value or replacement cost value?
• If you have jewelry or collectibles do you have additional coverage for
the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), between 20 and
25 percent of flood claims occur in medium or low risk flood
areas. The standard homeowner insurance policy does not cover flood
damage. Flood insurance is issued by the National Flood Insurance
Program (NFIP), a federal plan. Homeowners and business owners
can buy flood insurance regardless of whether or not the property
is in or out of flood plain, as long as the property is located
in a participating community. For a list of participating communities
go to FEMA’s website at http://www.fema.gov/cis/MD.pdf. Flood
insurance policies, whether new or adjusted, require a 30-day wait
period. For more information regarding flood insurance, go to FEMA’s
website at http://www.fema.gov/business/nfip/index.shtm.
For any questions
regarding flood insurance and home insurance policies, the People’s Insurance Counsel can be reached by
emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 410-576-6432. The People’s
Insurance Counsel Division advocates for homeowners insurance and
medical professional liability insurance consumers. The Division
produces materials to assist consumers in their insurance coverage
decisions, assists individuals with their complaints filed with
the Maryland Insurance Administration and investigates insurance
company practices that adversely affect insurance policy holders.