BALTIMORE – The National Weather Service (NWS) is predicting a range of hazards for Maryland, including heavy rain, coastal and tidal flooding, and gale force winds beginning Friday, October 29, through Sunday, October 31.
Maryland Insurance Commissioner Kathleen A. Birrane is urging all Marylanders to remain vigilant and plan accordingly.
“One of the most important things that consumers can do is to be prepared before a storm hits. Creating a home inventory and collecting your insurance information is critical to being prepared,” Commissioner Birrane said.
Here are some useful guidelines from the Maryland Insurance Administration:
Before the storm:
- Gather copies of your insurance policies and keep them in a secure, dry location.
- Keep your insurer’s contact information with you.
- Make a home or business inventory. You can do this by photographing or videotaping your belongings so that you have proof of ownership in case they get damaged or destroyed.
- Prepare a “Go Bag” with emergency items in case you need to evacuate. Check out this supply list: https://www.ready.gov/kit. Make sure emergency kits include at least two face coverings for each person, hand sanitizer, disinfectants, and other COVID-19 related supplies in addition to the usual disaster supply kit components.
- Secure or store outdoor items like grills, patio furniture and small loose items.
- Prepare your home by shuttering all windows, closing your garage door and all interior doors, and bracing or reinforcing your garage door to help prevent significant structural damage.
After the storm:
- Most importantly, make sure that you and your family are safe.
- Contact your insurer as soon as possible to report damage. Many insurers are utilizing a variety of virtual solutions to keep the claims process safe and efficient. Make sure you get clear guidance on how to proceed.
- Photograph or videotape the damage to share with your insurer and keep a copy for your records.
- Make temporary repairs if it is safe to do so. If there are holes in your roof or your windows are broken, be sure to cover them as quickly as possible to prevent further damage.
- Save receipts for any materials you purchase to assist with repairs and for temporary living expenses. You may submit them to your insurer for reimbursement.
- Beware of fraudulent schemes after a storm or flood. Protect yourself by getting more than one bid from contractors and requesting at least three references. Ask for proof of necessary licenses, building permits, insurance and bonding. Record the contractor's license plate number and driver's license number, and then check for any complaints with the Better Business Bureau.
Look for updates throughout the weather event on the Maryland Insurance Administration website at https://insurance.maryland.gov and our social media accounts: Facebook at www.facebook.com/MDInsuranceAdmin, Twitter at @MD_Insurance, LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/maryland-insurance-administration or Instagram at @marylandinsuranceadmin.
About the Maryland Insurance Administration
The Maryland Insurance Administration is an independent State agency charged with regulating Maryland’s $28.5 billion insurance industry.