News Release

New Jersey Department of
Banking and Insurance
Commissioner Holly C. Bakke

For Immediate Release:  September 15, 2003

For Further Information::  Bill Heine - (609) 292-5064

DOBI urges homeowners to check their policies as storm nears
Prepare now in the event you have to file a claim later

TRENTON - The Department of Banking and Insurance is urging all New Jersey residents, particularly those who live on barrier islands and along coastal waterways, to prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Isabel, which forecasters predict could make landfall between North Carolina and New Jersey by late Thursday.

Homeowners should re-familiarize themselves with the terms of their insurance policies and secure copies of the policies and contact information for their insurers or agents.

If anyone should have difficulty with a claim resulting from Hurricane Isabel and wish to speak with a Department representative, they can call the Department's division of Consumer Protection Services at (800) 446-SHOP (7467).

For prudent steps to protect their properties before the hurricane strikes, homeowners living in coastal zones may also wish to review their insurer's "loss mitigation plan." The Department requires insurers to provide loss mitigation plans to all policyholders in designated WindMap coastal areas.

Homeowners should also remember that standard homeowner's policies do not cover property damage from floods. Flood damage is covered through the National Flood Insurance Program.

Policyholders with claims who choose to hire a public adjuster instead of using their insurer's adjuster should check with the Department to make sure the person is properly licensed.

More information is available on the Department's Web site at