Strong, destructive storms can occur at any time of the year for New England residents. Just as winter comes to a close, we often receive a wet spring before quickly moving into hurricane season. Storms have been proven to becoming more powerful with increasing severity year over year, especially regarding coastal flooding and power outages.
In the event that you have to file an insurance claim due to damage to your home, car, or other personal property, we put together this guide to walk you through the process. At Eastern Insurance, we have a dedicated claims team that will work with you and for you to get your claim processed and resolved. They are always your advocate, and your best resource for follow-up questions, status inquiries, and any other assistance you may need throughout the claims process.
First Steps to File a Claim
- Make sure that nobody is physically harmed. If there are any injuries, seek necessary medical attention immediately.
- Take the immediate action necessary to prevent further damage to your property, but do not make permanent repairs. For example, if a pipe has burst, shut the water source off, but don’t yet have a plumber come make repairs.
- Document the damage to the property with photos.
- Call or go online to file an insurance claim with your insurance company. They will provide you with next steps.
For expedited service following a large storm with a high volume of claims, we encourage you to file your claim directly with your insurance company. Have your policy number handy for even faster service. Here is the full list of the insurance companies that Eastern Insurance represents.
What to Do In Claim Specific Situations
After completing the first steps to filing a claim, follow these additional steps for these claim specific situations.
- Tree Damage
First, ensure everyone is physically safe if there is tree damage to a home or building. Seek medical attention immediately if necessary. If the tree is blocking a public roadway, call your local authorities for assistance. After documenting and filing your claim, contact a licensed tree removal company. We recommend contacting a few companies to secure competitive quotes. Don’t wait to take this step! After a large storm, many people will be in your situation, and wait times for service can quickly become weeks instead of days.
- Sump Pump Failure
When inspecting the damage, be extremely careful when entering a flooded basement. Water that has risen to certain levels can cause an electrical short, creating a difficult situation. Move undamaged personal belongings to higher levels and remove the water as soon as possible. Contact stores within driving distance to your house to see if they sell pumps, generators, or wet/dry vacuums. While mitigation companies can provide support, coverage for sump pump failure may be limited. It’s important to understand that out-of-pocket expenses for services may be incurred. The Eastern Insurance claims team can provide you with this information if you have questions.
- Roof Damage
If your roof is damaged during a storm, you’ll want to hire a reputable roofing company to assess the damage and to repair it as soon as possible. Damage includes missing, loose, or cracked shingles as well as water damage. Make sure that the roofing company is appropriately licensed and carries insurance, especially workers compensation.
- Burst Pipes
If a pipe burst in your home, immediately turn the water off at the source. Turn off electricity if necessary. Take photos of the ruptured pipes and any water damaged structures or property. Start removing water and dry affected areas as soon as possible to prevent mold and mildew buildup. Call a licensed plumber to begin repairs as soon as possible.
To file a claim or contact a member of our specialized claims team, you can call 1-800-333-7234 for assistance, or visit our website here. A member of our claims team will be available to assist you with next steps or provide you with preliminary coverage questions that you may have.