Getting You Ready for the Storm
We are currently tracking the movements of Hurricane Irma. It is currently expected to reach southern Florida later this week and we are watching to see if it will shift toward the Mid-Atlantic States. As we have all seen with Hurricane Harvey in the past week, once a storm has been downgraded; it can still cause severe damage and flooding. We sincerely hope you, your business, and your family do not suffer a loss in this storm.
Now is the time to prepare and to remind you we will be here for you. The information below provides guidance for assistance should you sustain loss or damage from the hurricane. While we certainly hope for the best, we will be closely monitoring this storm and will be available to assist you should the need arise.
WE ARE HERE TO HELP
In preparation of Hurricane Irma, we would like to provide you with our Claims Reporting Instructions for our insurance customers. We are here to help you prepare for and recover from this storm.
- When there is an impending event, we capture communications from our carrier partners on what they are doing to put their emergency procedures in place so they will have adjusters available to respond to claims promptly.
- During this situation, MMA’s personnel will be asked to forward their work phone to their cell phones when not in the office so you can utilize the same office phone numbers you are accustomed to using to reach your team.
- Refer to the claims reporting information provided at your renewal or your insurance policy to ensure you are aware of your carrier’s claim reporting process. Please note: It is helpful to have your policy number ready when reporting a claim. If you do not have this information at your fingertips, please contact us and we will be happy to provide this to you now so you will have it in the event you need it.
- MMA’s website (www.mma-midatlantic.com) provides claims reporting information for several carriers. Reporting directly to your carrier will allow for the most prompt response to your claim. In the event of serious bodily injury or property damage, you may want to ask the carrier to have your claim escalated for response.
You may also report a claim to our after-hours/emergency claims numbers which are provided below.
Capstone – 1-864-234-8000
Rosenfeld Einstein – 1-864-271-6336
Rutherfoord – 1-866-214-7141
Senn Dunn – 1-800-598-7161
AT THE BEGINNING OF THE HURRICANE SEASON
Establish an Emergency Preparedness Plan (EPP) that takes prevention, emergency response, and disaster recovery into consideration. If an EPP is already in place, review and update it as needed for hurricane readiness.
- Designate an Emergency Coordinator and an EPP Team.
- Assign responsibility to specific employees for advance arrangements to initiate the plan.
- Insure that your insurance carrier claims reporting information is up to date.
- Brace outside storage tanks and outer structures.
- Inspect all battery powered equipment and backup power.
- Inspect sewers and drains.
- Check all drainage pumps.
- Inspect the roof and flashing for serviceability.
- Check the landscaping; prune dead branches.
- Have a supply of plastic or tarpaulins on hand ready to cover water-sensitive equipment.
AT THE APPROACH OF THE HURRICANE
- Secure and duplicate vital financial records; determine who will be responsible for claims filing/handling in your organization; determine how you will maintain a record of expenses associated with a loss, etc.
- Review your property insurance policy to familiarize yourself with coverage, deductibles, and your obligations/duties under the policy as coverage can be impacted negatively if those duties are not followed.
- Inspect roof drains and piping; are they clear of debris and fully functional?
- Check floor drains and sumps; are they clear of debris and fully functional?
- Check all storm water catch basins and grates to be sure they are clear of debris.
- Be sure that roof flashing is secure.
- Make sure that doors and windows will remain latched.
- Protect windows from flying debris.
- Walk the grounds; move objects inside that could become missiles in high winds.
- Anchor any equipment stored outside that could be moved by high winds.
- Move supplies stored outside to inside storage.
- Assemble supplies for the emergency crews and for emergency repairs.
- Protect vital records against flooding and wind.
- Secure backup records.
- Inspect fire protection equipment.
- Top off fuel in the emergency generators ; test run.
- Evacuate non-essential personnel.
- Have remaining personnel take shelter.
- Check the supply and serviceability of sandbags.
EMERGENCY RESPONSE: DURING THE HURRICANE
- Patrol the facility continuously, as long as it is safe to do so.
- Check for any damage to the structure.
- Check for leaks and fire systems impairment.
- Complete any emergency repairs that are possible and safe to perform.
- Shut off any valves where pipes have been broken.
- Watch for flooding. Use sandbags when necessary.
- Watch for reverse winds after the eye of the storm has passed. They will affect different areas and perhaps break trees that had been blown in the other direction.
EMERGENCY RECOVERY: AFTER THE HURRICANE
- Conduct a roll call of all personnel on the premises.
- Check for safety hazards (downed trees, branches, downed power wires, leaking gas, blocked roof drains, reptiles).
- Assess the damage.
- Promptly report the loss to your insurance carrier, contact your MMA Mid-Atlantic Risk Services team for assistance. Visit www.mma-midatlantic.com to get detailed information on claim reporting.
- Make temporary repairs to protect the structure and supplies.
- Photograph and document any damage before making repairs. If temporary repairs are needed, remember to keep all receipts for materials purchased or costs incurred.
- Prepare a list of damages in preparation for discussion with an adjuster.
- If possible, do not discard damaged items before discussion with an adjuster unless that may cause further damage. If that is the case, take whatever photos you can prior to discarding materials.
- You may be contacted by various vendors (contractors, public adjusters or restoration firms) asking you to enter into contracts for work. As always, due diligence should be utilized when deciding which vendors to utilize and/or what contracts to sign. If emergency work is necessary and authorization is required before an adjuster can respond, any scope of work should be limited to that which would be to reduce the potential for additional bodily injury or property damage.
- Begin salvage operations.
We sincerely appreciate your business and are committed to doing everything we can to assist you in the event of a loss. If you have any questions, please contact us.
For more information on Hurricane Preparedness, you may want to visit: