With Tropical Storm Ana approaching Hawaii and expected to intensify into a hurricane, AAA Hawaii urges its members and residents living near the coast to gather and review their insurance policies and other important papers in case they need to make a claim after the storm. Claims assistance is available through AAA Hawaii claims hotline: 1-800-672-5246 (1-800-67-CLAIM).
The following tips can help protect your property and speed your recovery in the event of a storm:
- Read your policy carefully so you know what coverage you have purchased.
- Make a current inventory—List the items you own. Photograph or videotape each room and the exterior of your home, if possible. List item serial numbers when available.
- Safeguard your records—Keep insurance policies and your inventory in a safe deposit box or other secure spot. Accurate records speed up claims processing and can help prove tax-deductible, uninsured losses.
- Have a sufficient supply of drinking water, dry and canned goods and toiletries. Power may be out for a few days; stores may be inaccessible and safe drinking water may be unavailable from the tap.
- Plan for an evacuation—If local authorities recommend or mandate evacuations, follow these instructions:
- Take important records with you. Have copies available of your homeowner, auto, health, and other insurance policies.
- Check medication supplies and first aid equipment. Take copies of prescriptions.
- Check batteries in radios and flashlights.
- Make arrangements for your pets. Hotels and shelters may or may not accept pets.
Following the storm:
- Check your house and car for damage.
- Prepare an inventory of damaged property and try to store undamaged property in a protected place where it will not be stolen.
- Take photographs of damaged property for the claims adjuster before any trash pick-ups.
- Contact AAA Hawaii promptly to report damage and follow up with a written claim.
Make necessary repairs to protect your home and property from further damage:
- Cover broken windows and holes to keep rain out.
- Dry out the area as much as you can.
- If carpet is soaked, remove it and carpet pad. Keep a two-foot square piece.
- Run AC, dehumidifier and fans constantly. Repair if necessary.
- Disconnect computer and appliances from electrical sources.
- Open cabinet doors and elevate furniture so air can circulate.
- Wash wet CD's or LP records with warm water and dry.
- Save wet books or photo albums by putting them on edge in a frost free freezer.
- Test drywall for moisture softness. If soft, cut holes at base to help dry.
- Try to be present when the adjuster inspects your damage.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
The following are answers to some frequently asked questions regarding evacuations:
Question: Where can I find the most recent information about emergency shelters?
Answer: If you are need emergency shelter, water, or food, please call 1-800-REDCROSS or find your local Red Cross chapter online.
Question: I'm having trouble finding a hotel with availability; what can I do?
Answer: If you need help finding a hotel, call our reservations number at 1-877-222-1020 or use the AAA Hawaii online travel booking service. AAA travel agents have access to the most up-to-date information on hotel availability and can assist you immediately.
Question: I want to let my family know I'm safe, but I'm having a hard time getting in touch with them. What can I do?
Answer: People affected by the hurricane are encouraged to register on the Red Cross Safe and Well website. People without access to a computer or without electricity or connectivity can call the Red Cross (1-800-REDCROSS) for help registering, or to register a loved one on their behalf.
The following are answers to frequently asked questions regarding AAA Hawaii insurance claims:
Question: If a civil authority requires that I leave my home due to the hurricane, even if it is not ultimately damaged, are my hotel expenses covered?
Answer: Homeowners, condominium owners, and renters policies purchased through AAA Hawaii all provide coverage for additional living expense when a civil authority has ordered you out of your home. This coverage provides not only hotel expenses, but also reasonable and necessary costs that you actually incur, including increases in food expense. This coverage is provided for up to a two-week period during the time the authorities do not allow you to return to your home.
Question: What do I need to do to file a claim?
Answer: To start the process, please call our Claims Department at 1-800-67-CLAIM (1-800-672-5246).
Question: I don't have my policy number. I left it at home. Is that going to be a problem?
Answer: Don't worry about providing your policy number. All we need to get started is the address of the insured property and your phone number.
Question: Can I file my claim online?
Answer: Yes, you can start the claim process online by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. To help us begin, please include your home address, two phone numbers where we can reach you immediately, and a brief description of what has happened (fire damage, smoke damage, water damage, wind damage, evacuation expenses, etc.).