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Not too early to think about insurance claims for Hurricane Sandy

Eileen Ambrose

3:25 PM EDT, October 29, 2012

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Sandy is only just getting started. But it’s still worth a reminder of what you should do if your car or home is damaged in the next couple of days.

Here are tips from the Maryland Insurance Administration and insurance companies:

—    Once the danger is over, contact your insurance company to report the damage. Keep a detailed inventory of the damage, including photos and video.

—    Make temporary repairs so the damage doesn’t get worse. That includes boarding up windows or holes in the roof. Mop up water and ventilate wet areas to hasten drying.

—    Keep receipts for tarp, plywood or any other items used to make temporary repairs. Also, keep receipts of expenses you incur if you’re unable to stay in your home because the damage is too severe.

—   The typical deductible on a homeowner’s policy is $500 to $1,000, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Be aware, your homeowner’s policy may contain a “hurricane deductible,” which you must pay first if the damage is caused by the storm before the insurance kicks in. The Institute says these hurricane deductibles can run 1 percent to 5 percent of the house’s value — or even more in some coastal areas.

Here is contact information to make a Hurricane Sandy claim for the top 10 insurers in Maryland:

Allstate 800-54-STORM; 800-547-8676; www.Allstate.com

Chubb 800-252-4670

ERIE 800-492-2709; 800-545-3492 (fax)

Fireman's Fund 888-347-3428

Hartford 800-243-5860; www.thehartford.com/heretohelp

Liberty Mutual - 800-2-CLAIMS

Nationwide 800-421-3535

State Farm 800-732-5246

Travelers 800-252-4633

USAA 800-531-8722