Consumer Alert: State Urges Residents to Review Insurance in Face of Potential Natural Disasters

Posted on Oct 15, 2014 in News Releases

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS
Insurance Division

NEIL ABERCROMBIE
GOVERNOR

KEALII S. LOPEZ
DIRECTOR

GORDON ITO
INSURANCE COMMISSIONER

CONSUMER ALERT
Oct. 15, 2014

STATE URGES RESIDENTS TO REVIEW INSURANCE IN FACE OF POTENTIAL NATURAL DISASTERS
Residents Without Proper Insurance Could Encounter Financial Difficulties

HONOLULU – As Tropical Storm Ana moves closer to the state, Hawaii Insurance Commissioner Gordon Ito urges residents to review their homeowner’s and hurricane insurance policies, and identify who to contact to file a claim. Homeowners should also familiarize themselves with the type of insurance they have and what is covered under each policy.

“As we saw with residents we met with after Hurricane Iselle, there was confusion about what is covered under a homeowner’s policy versus a hurricane policy,” said Ito. “Policyholders should review their insurance policies right away to find out what type of coverage they have and the proper steps to take post-event. If they have any questions or concerns they should call their agent or insurance company.”

The Insurance Division also offers the following disaster preparedness tips:

Talk with your insurer to find out the specific language in the policy that references when a hurricane policy will be triggered. Most hurricane insurance policies are triggered once a hurricane “watch” or “warning” is issued by the Central Pacific Hurricane Center of the National Weather Service, and coverage ends 72-hours after the hurricane watch or warning has been cancelled.
Review your deductible levels. This is the amount of money a policyholder will be responsible for if a claim is filed.
Familiarize yourself with the type of coverage you purchased. For example, flood damage is not covered under hurricane insurance. The types of coverage vary based on the insurer.
If you are told that your claim is denied, be sure to get it in writing from your insurance company. In general, agents do not have the authority to determine whether a loss should be paid or not.

For hurricane preparedness tips and information on filing a claim post event, visit cca.hawaii.gov/ins.

The DCCA Insurance Division oversees the Hawaii insurance industry, issues licenses, examines the fiscal condition of Hawaii-based companies, reviews rate and policy filings, and investigates insurance related complaints. For more information about the Insurance Division, visit cca.hawaii.gov/ins or call (808) 586-2790.

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Media Contact:
Lindsay Chambers
Insurance Division
Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
(808) 587-6735
Lindsay.K.Chambers@dcca.hawaii.gov
cca.hawaii.gov/ins