EAST SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Most of us may be dried out and enjoying the sunshine, but several people are trying to recover from the flooding rains that hit parts of Central New York on Monday. Some people lost nearly everything.
Mike Crowley, owner of Crowley Insurance Agency in East Syracuse, is sharing advice on what homeowners and business owners need to do once the wet weather passes. He says calls have been flooding in for the past few days following Monday night’s storm.
“Tuesday we probably had the highest call volume that we ever have in a single day,” said Crowley.
Many people impacted by the heavy rain are now wondering what to do next. Crowley says it all starts with contacting your insurance company and explaining your situation.
“One of the biggest things is to understand where your insurance policies come into play when there is situations like this that we’re not used to,” said Crowley.
Understanding your policy is critical.
“Every situation is going to be different, where the coverage comes into play, what’s the limits, where the coverage needs to go to, and then making sure you get everything dried out the right way. Don’t just try and throw some towels down there and a fan and hope that it’s going to be taken care of. Bring the professionals in to make sure that you’re preventing future mold issues,” said Crowley.
Crowley says it’s important to know that homeowners insurance and flood insurance are two different policies. If you have flood insurance and your home or business was damaged, it may still not be covered. It all depends on where the water came from.
“In order for it to be considered flood insurance the damage needs to happen to two or more neighboring properties or two or more acres of normally dry land, and this has to do from either an overflow of a body of water. And that body of water could be a stream. It could be a pond, a lake, a creek, or it needs to be a heavy accumulation in runoff of rainfall, which that’s kind of what we saw the other night,” said Crowley.
Crowley says many people have been calling about their basement being flooded from a floor drain or sump pump, which is not covered under flood insurance.
“That’s a coverage that would be added to your homeowner’s policy. It’s not automatic. So there’s a coverage that every homeowner’s policy should have, and it’s an additional coverage. And it’s called water back up of sewers and drains or sump pump overflow coverage,” said Crowley.
If the sump pump fails and water backs up through your basement, that’s what’s going to pay for the damage and cleanup.
Homeowners and business owners should also hire a restoration company as soon as they can.
“After you’ve talked to your insurance agent and then hired the restoration company, analyze what you should do next. Is this worth a claim? Everybody has a deductible on their homeowner’s policy, so a deductible is going to come into play. So if somebody is going to go and clean it up for a thousand dollars, but you have a thousand-dollar home deductible, don’t immediately file a claim with your insurance company. If you file that insurance claim, it’s going to affect you in the long run, especially in the market that we’re in for the insurance industry right now,” Crowley said.
But what happens if you don’t have insurance? Onondaga County Emergency Management says contact your town officials.
“Right now, one of the most important things for people to do is, if they did experience damage to their personal property, would be to work through their mayor’s office, their town supervisor’s office and provide some of that damage information so that way it can be documented,” said Daniel Wears, Commissioner for Onondaga County Emergency Management.
The data collected will then be submitted to the state, in hopes of trying to recoup some costs for people.