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State agency offers heavy-rain claims and contractor advice

The state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs is offering information on heavy rain and flood insurance claims, in addition to best practices when hiring a contractor for repairs.

While there are a range of insurance coverage policies, the state DCCA said it would first encourage residents to contact their insurance agent to find out if their situation is a covered loss.

Generally, once a loss is reported, an adjuster is assigned, who will inspect the property and send a detailed cost estimate of damage and proof-of-loss form. It is important to know that once a proof-of-loss form is signed, there is still an opportunity to work with your insurance carrier if additional flood damage is found.

Individuals with a National Flood Insurance Program can find a claims process tip sheet at this Federal Emergency Management Agency link.

For contractors, insurance companies often have a list of preferred contractors, but make sure they are licensed. The state DCCA warns consumers to be wary of “storm chasers,” or individuals who go door-to-door, offering inspections and advice on how to get storm damage covered under a homeowner’s insurance policy who may be unlicensed or who may not regularly do business in Hawaii.

A list of frequently asked questions regarding flood damage is available from the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency. Questions can also be directed to the Hawaii Insurance Division at 586-2790.

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