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State mobile team sent to West Seneca to aid flooding victims

A special state team is being sent to West Seneca to help homeowners and businesses affected by recent flooding.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo sent the Mobile Command Center to West Seneca to help assist the affected homeowners and businesses with insurance-related issues.

The state representatives will be inside the agency’s Mobile Command Center at Winchester Community Church, 909 Harlem Road, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. today and Thursday.

Affected families and business are also urged to call the Disaster hotline at 1-800-339-1759, which is available on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

“There are a number of important steps New Yorkers can take to help speed up their insurance claims after a natural disaster," said Benjamin M. Lawsky, superintendent of Financial Services. “The process of rebuilding can be exceptionally daunting, but we’ll continue to do everything we can to make sure victims receive the relief to which they are entitled from insurers.”

The state also offered this advice victims when dealing with insurers:

• File Claims Promptly. Homeowners who experienced property losses are urged to file insurance claims with their insurers promptly and as soon as possible after losses occur. It is important to provide policy numbers if possible and all information relevant to the loss. To best document losses, homeowners should take photos or videos showing the extent of the losses before cleaning up damage.

• ·Making Necessary Repairs. Homeowners should protect their property from further damage after a loss, but should make only necessary repairs to prevent further damage to property, like covering broken windows. Permanent repairs should not be made until after insurers have inspected damage.

• Keep Records of Dealings with Insurance Representatives. Homeowners should cooperate fully with their insurer and keep a diary of all conversations with insurance representatives, including the representatives’ names, as well as the times and dates of all calls or visits. They should also follow up in writing with the representatives to document their understanding of any conversations they’ve had with the representatives.

• Inventory Your Belongings. Provide your insurer with a detailed room-by-room inventory of damaged personal items and property. Include any receipts, credit card or other documents showing the items’ values.

• Flood Damage. Homeowners are also reminded that flood damage is generally only covered by flood insurance, which is a federal program administered by FEMA. Homeowners who have flood insurance and have flood damage should make claims through that insurance. Additionally, homeowners should also read their policies carefully to make sure they understand what damage is covered and under what circumstances. For additional on flood insurance, please visit the Flood Insurance Resource Center on the DFS website.

• Keep Your Receipts If You Relocate During Repairs. If you need to temporarily relocate while your home is being repaired, make sure to keep receipts and other records of your expenses during that time.

• Filing a Complaint. Homeowners unable to resolve disputes can contact DFS to file a complaint here.:

•  Information on Homeowners Insurance. Additional information can be found at the Homeowners Resource Center on the Department of Financial Services’ website .