Client Alert: Resources for Mainers Affected by Recent Storms

To support Maine Businesses and Families affected by the January 10th storm, we have provided steps and resources to help navigate the aftermath.

First Steps

  • Notify Your Insurance Company: Contact your insurance provider as soon as possible to report the incident. Provide them with detailed information about the damage and follow their instructions for filing a claim.
    • To report damage, The Maine Emergency Management Agency has provided online surveys to fill out:
    • Document the Damage: Take photographs and videos of the flooded areas before any cleanup begins. This documentation will serve as evidence for your insurance claim. Keep track of all of your paper records.
    • Review Insurance Coverage: Review your insurance policy to understand the coverage and limitations. Work closely with your insurance adjuster throughout the process.
    • Consider Professional Help: If the process becomes too overwhelming or if you encounter challenges with insurance claims, consider seeking assistance from a public adjuster or legal counsel.

Contacting County and State Emergency Management Agencies

Contacting your county and state emergency management agency is a crucial part of the recovery process. Your local emergency management agencies will provide:

  • Information and Guidance: The Emergency Management Agency can provide accurate and up-to-date information about the current situation, including the nature of the emergency, evacuation procedures, and available resources.
  • Resource Coordination: The agency plays a crucial role in coordinating resources during emergencies. They can help facilitate the deployment of emergency services, medical assistance, and other resources needed for response and recovery efforts.
  • Community Assistance Programs: The Emergency Management Agency can provide information about available assistance programs for individuals and businesses affected by disasters. This may include financial aid, temporary housing, and other support services.
  • Coordination with Other Agencies: The agency collaborates with various emergency response organizations, local authorities, and government agencies. By contacting them, you can ensure that you are connected to the broader emergency response network.
  • Recovery Assistance: Following a disaster, the agency can assist with recovery efforts. They may provide information on available recovery programs, assistance for rebuilding, and other post-disaster support.

Insurance Coverage

The coverage provided by a water damage insurance claim can vary depending on the specific terms and conditions outlined in your insurance policy. Generally, standard commercial and homeowners insurance policies may cover the following losses related to water damage:

  • Structural Damage: Repairs to the structure of the building, including walls, floors, ceilings, and foundations, caused by water damage.
  • Contents and Personal Property: Replacement or repair of damaged business or personal property, such as furniture, equipment, inventory, and other belongings affected by water.
  • Mold Remediation: Costs associated with the removal and remediation of mold resulting from water damage. This may include testing, cleanup, and restoration.
  • Business Interruption: Compensation for lost income or business interruption due to the water damage. This coverage may include ongoing expenses like payroll and operating costs.
  • Additional Living Expenses: If you have to temporarily relocate due to water damage to your home, the insurance policy may cover additional living expenses, including hotel stays and meals.
  • Repair or Replacement of Damaged Systems: Costs related to repairing or replacing damaged systems, such as plumbing, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), as well as electrical systems.
  • Water Extraction and Cleanup: Expenses for professional water extraction, drying, and cleanup services to minimize further damage and prevent mold growth.
  • Debris Removal: Coverage for the removal and disposal of debris resulting from the water damage.
  • Document Recovery: Restoration or recovery of important documents, records, and other valuable papers damaged by water.
  • Mitigation Costs: Costs associated with taking immediate action to prevent further damage, such as emergency repairs and temporary protective measures.

It’s crucial to thoroughly review your insurance policy to understand the specific coverages, exclusions, and limitations. Some policies may exclude certain types of water damage, such as flooding from external sources, and may require additional coverage or a separate flood insurance policy. Additionally, there may be limits on coverage amounts, so it’s important to be aware of these details when filing a claim. If you have questions or uncertainties, it’s advisable to consult with your insurance provider or a professional insurance advisor.

The Maine Bureau of Insurance has several resources to help Maine people navigate insurance questions during flooding and natural disasters.

Additional resources