Category: General

Commissioner Ted Nickel Statement on Summer Storms in Wisconsin

Madison, WI—Wisconsin Insurance Commissioner Ted Nickel expressed concern for the citizens of Wisconsin facing property damage and floods after storms in recent weeks.

“Unfortunately, this summer, many individuals throughout the state of Wisconsin have experienced the stress and pain from heavy storms as their homes and business have been damaged,” said Commissioner Nickel. “Make sure to check your insurance coverage and remember OCI and other state agencies are here to help.”

Typical homeowner’s policies usually provide coverage for damage that is the result of severe weather such as damage from hail or high winds. An exception is that damage caused by flooding is typically not covered. For protection against floods, you must purchase a separate policy from the National Flood Insurance Program.

Damage resulting from sewer backup and sump pump problems is also rarely covered in homeowner’s policies but an endorsement providing that coverage may be purchased and added to the policy. Endorsements are added to insurance policies in order to provide additional coverage to the homeowner’s policy.

Most comprehensive auto policies provide coverage for vehicles damaged in a flood. However, if you purchased collision-only coverage, you may not have coverage.

Commissioner Nickel suggests the following tips in dealing with storm aftermath:

  • Notify your insurance agent or insurance company as soon as possible to begin the claim process. Make sure you provide a telephone and/or e-mail address where you can be reached.
  • Pay attention to local news to find out if state and federal agencies are available on-scene to help with relief efforts.
  • Separate damaged items from undamaged items.
  • Make a detailed list of all damaged or lost personal property. It will help to take photos of the damage. Your adjuster will need evidence of the damage and damaged items. Do not throw out any damaged property without your adjuster’s agreement. If local officials require the disposal of damaged items before the insurance company’s claims adjuster can inspect the damages, take photos and keep a swatch or other sample of damaged items for the adjuster (e.g., cut swatches from carpeting, curtains, chairs).
  • Contact your insurance company again if an adjuster has not been assigned to you within several days.
  • Keep a file containing all the claim documentation including telephone logs, photos, estimates and receipts.
  • To avoid scams, make sure to take your time. If you feel pressured to sign a contract quickly, take a step back and investigate.

The Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) Web site has many helpful publications including Consumer’s Guide To Homeowner’s Insurance and Personal Property Home Inventory. OCI also offers several publications that may help you as you sort through the claims process, including Settling Property Insurance Claims and Documents and Records, which provides a list of documents that will need to be replaced if they have been destroyed and whom to contact for replacement. All publications are available on our Web site at oci.wi.gov/Pages/Consumers/ConsumerPublications.aspx and may also be ordered free from the agency.

 

Source: https://oci.wi.gov/Pages/PressReleases/20170712SummerStorms.aspx

Spring Start-Up: Tips For Getting Your Classic Back On The Road

For classic car owners in northern climes, the long wait for spring can be excruciating. The good news is, it’s almost here. The classic car experts at Hagerty® have put together the following spring start-up checklist. Take advantage of the time before spring blooms by prepping your car for its first drive. You’ll both be better for it.

Start with your battery. If it’s been on a trickle charger all winter, disconnect it from the charger and reconnect the battery. If you simply removed the battery and stored it in a warmer spot for the winter, time to charge it up.

Check your fluids. Start with a walk around and examine the floor beneath the car. Drips are common and expected; puddles are not. A fresh oil change is recommended since water or other fluids may have found their way in your crankcase. While you’re at it, replace the oil filter. Also check your other fluids – brakes, coolant, transmission, windshield washer. Do they look dirty? Are they at the recommended level? Smell your transmission fluid. If it smells burnt, change it. Generally speaking, if you can’t remember the last time you drained and flushed any particular fluid, it’s probably time to do it again. As for gasoline, your car should be good to go if you put STA-BIL in the gas tank before storing your car. If not, you might consider adding a water-absorbing product or – if you’re really worried about it – drain the tank.

Check your belts and hoses for cracks and decay. Since rubber breaks down over time, examine the condition of your tires. Make sure they’re inflated to the correct air pressure, and remember the spare.

In addition to potentially damaging your engine, water can cause brake problems as well. If your car has been sitting for a while, consider bleeding your brakes. They should feel firm when you push the pedal.

By this point, you should already know if any mice spent a comfortable winter in or around your engine. Also check inside the passenger compartment, especially under the seats and in the glove box. And one last thing – check the headlights, turn signals and brake lights. Yes, this requires a friend’s help.

It’s finally time to start your car. If you’re just testing the engine, make sure an exit door is open enough to allow exhaust fumes to escape. If the weather allows for a drive, make that first one fairly short – a half hour or so should put the car through its proper paces. And before you take drive No. 2, do the ol’ walk-around again. No major leaks? Tires look good? Let ’er rip, and have a great summer.

 

Written by: Hagerty Insurance March 17, 2017