In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, Lieutenant Governor Osbert Potter announced on Tuesday that the Division of Banking, Insurance and Financial Regulation will be offering consumer assistance for insurance matters. The service applies to consumers whose properties were damaged by Hurricane Irma, and who may or may not have had windstorm and separate flood insurance policies, according to Mr. Potter’s office.
Consumers are asked to take photos of damaged areas and contents, secure their property to prevent theft and vandalism, and contact their insurance agent immediately to file a claim for hurricane-related damages. Homeowner’s insurance policy with windstorm coverage does not provide coverage for flood damages, Mr. Potter’s office said.
Homeowners must file a separate claim for flood damage by contacting the insurance company that issued a flood insurance policy on behalf of the National Flood Insurance Program. Filing a claim does not automatically mean the claim will be paid. The claim for windstorm or flood damages must first be adjusted. The insurance company will use an adjuster to determine whether the damages to the consumer’s property are covered by the existing policy. The adjuster will determine the dollar amount of damages to the property, according to the release.
All non-resident independent adjusters working with local insurance agencies must register with the Division of Banking, Insurance and Financial Regulation before adjusting any claims. Adjusters may register at the Division between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday to Friday, until the curfew is lifted. Once the curfew is lifted, registration may take place between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. USVI licensed adjusters are not required to register.
For more information on an insurance policy or about an adjuster, contact the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, Division of Banking, Insurance, and Financial Regulation at 340-774-7166 (for St. Thomas, St. John and Water Island), or 340-773-6459 on St. Croix. Consumers may also visit the Division’s office on St. Thomas in Nisky Center, 2nd Floor or St. Croix at 1131 King Street Christiansted, 3rd Floor.