Hurricane Sandy has inflicted unprecedented damage on New Jersey. Homes have been destroyed. Businesses, homes and schools have lost power. Tens of thousands of people in New Jersey are homeless. Homes and buildings were destroyed by fire, trees, waves and other casualties. Many homes, especially in the evacuated Shore communities, have been looted. Losses in the Tri-State area expected to exceed fifty billion dollars.
That, of course is the big picture. On the ground, however, the storm had a devastating impact on individual homeowners, renters, and small businesses. The first thing each of these homeowners, renters and small businesses should do is make a claim with their insurance companies.
This first question is, will there be coverage? This depends on two things: First, the type of insurance policies you have and, second, the type of damages you incurred. For instance, many homeowners and business policies exclude coverage for damage caused by flooding. However, flood insurance should obviously cover this.
Therefore, you should get a copy of your insurance policy, including the declaration page. The declaration page is a one or two page summary of the types of coverage you have, the amounts of coverage, and the amounts paid for each type of coverage. The policy itself, to which the declaration page is usually attached, is much larger, often twenty pages or more. If you do not have a copy of your policy, or if your policy was destroyed in the storm, you should contact your insurance agent or broker, or the company with whom you have the insurance.