Hank Investigates: Flood Insurance - WHDH-TV 7News Boston

Hank Investigates: Flood Insurance

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So what should your next step be as your home begins to dry out? Our Hank Phillippi Ryan shows you how to cover your damage.

Your basement is a disaster. Your roof is gaping. Your windows are leaking.

Flooding Victim:

"It's just the mess the dirt the mud everything."

Your car is floating. Suddenly your world is underwater.

Flooding Victim:

"It's a lake in my basement! I have three feet of water."

Experts say first--stay safe.

Then get a camera. And a phone.

Call your insurance agent. Then--take photos, to document all your damages--that can help settle your insurance claim more quickly.

Frank O'Brien, Vice President, State Government Relations, Property Casualty Insurers Association of America

"Take pictures, take videos, show the insurance agency and the company what really happened to your property."

But one problem some homeowners will face after this storm: When water's flooding your basement--from overflowing dams or rivers-- unless you have special flood insurance, you may not be covered. That's other reason to make that phone call to your agent.

Frank O'Brien, Vice President, State Government Relations, Property Casualty Insurers Association of America

"Most homeowners insurance policies and commercial insurance policies do not cover flood, that requires separate coverage under the national flood insurance program. Again, talk to your insurance agent, talk to the company, get the facts, there may be something they can do for you."

But either way, you don't want it to get worse-- so to prevent further damage-- use tarps to cover holes or pumps to empty basements. Get two repair estimates. Finally, keep all receipts for expenses, and submit that info to your insurance company as quickly as you can.

Governor Deval Patrick:

"I will today declare a state of emergency."

Remember, although the governor has declared a state of emergency, there's no state money set aside for disasters like this.

But there may be federal dollars available. Now state emergency management officials are asking homeowners with damages to call 211, the state's public information hotline, to report the extent of their damage. They say that can document the devastation--and perhaps turn on the federal funds.

For more on storm related insurance and emergency information:

MEMA Website

What to do if you have storm damage

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