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State urges Puna residents affected by lava to contact insurance companies

  • SCOTT WIGGERS/APAU HAWAII TOURS VIA ASSOCIATED PRESS

    An unidentified man got close to a lava flow advancing down a road in the Leilani Estates on Monday. The state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Insurance Division advised Leilani Estates and surrounding area residents on Hawaii island contact their insurance companies immediately regarding their policy coverage.

The state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Insurance Division advised Leilani Estates and surrounding area residents on Hawaii island contact their insurance companies immediately regarding their policy coverage. Individuals impacted by mandatory evacuations, fire, smoke or noxious fumes may be able to start a claim.

“If policyholders are unsure of what coverages they have, they should reach out to their insurance company as soon as possible,” said state insurance commissioner Gordon Ito in a news release. “We don’t want residents to have lingering questions about their policies and not take advantage of a benefit that they may not be aware of. They should work with their agent to understand what is covered, and what is not.”

Consumers should inform their insurer of any damages, as well as inability to access their homes or businesses. Some insurance policies may require notification to the insurer within a certain time frame. Consumers should also not be afraid to ask questions and keep detailed notes of any conversations.

Homes and businesses in the path of the flow should also inventory their belongings using photos, video or the MyHome Sc.APP.book from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Pahoa and Puna residents with further questions after contacting their insurance company can reach out to the Insurance Division, toll-free at 974-4000, extension 62790. More information is also available at the following link, which includes a downloadable brochure on “Home Insurance & Lava Flow FAQs.”

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