The State of New Jersey
NJ Department of Banking and Insurance

Home > Department Press Releases/Newsletters/Reports

News Release

New Jersey Department of
Banking and Insurance

Commissioner Marlene Caride

For Immediate Release:
September 2, 2021

For Further Information:
Trish Graber
Teresa Sicard-Archambeault
(609) 292-5064

NJDOBI Offers Guidance on Filing Homeowners, Auto Insurance Claims to NJ Residents Impacted by Tropical Storm Ida 

TRENTON — The Department of Banking and Insurance today provided guidance on filing a homeowners insurance or auto insurance claim for storm-related damage, as well as information about flood insurance to help New Jersey homeowners who have suffered property damage caused by the tropical storm that struck the state.

“Tropical Storm Ida caused widespread damage throughout the state. Residents who have suffered property or auto damage due to the storm should know that they can file a claim with their homeowners and auto insurance companies. We also want residents to know that if they have an issue or concern related to their insurance claim, they can contact the department for assistance,” said Commissioner Marlene Caride.

Homeowners insurance protects homeowners from damage to their home, other structures not attached to the home like detached garages, storage sheds and fences, as well as personal property like furniture. Homeowners insurance policies exclude water damage caused by flood. Renters insurance policies also exclude coverage for flood damage. Only flood insurance covers a person’s home and their personal property from floods.

Consumers can purchase a flood insurance policy from the National Flood Insurance Program, a federal program which is the primary provider of flood insurance for residential property. Private flood insurance is also an option.

Damage to a personal or commercial vehicle from flood is covered under an auto policy’s optional comprehensive coverage (also known as comp or “other than collision”). If you do have comprehensive coverage, contact your agent or company to file a claim. If you only have liability coverage, your insurance company will not cover damage to your vehicle covered by flood. 

Hurricanes bring many hazards to New Jersey’s coastal communities and inland areas. A storm that does not reach the strength of a major hurricane can still cause widespread damage. The peak potential for hurricane and tropical storm activity in New Jersey runs from mid-August through the end of October. Hurricane season runs June 1 through November 30.

How to File Homeowners Insurance Claim, Commercial Property Insurance Claim

Call your agent or insurance company. Call your agent or insurer as soon as possible to report your loss. Have your policy number ready along with any information that may be relevant, and have paper and pen to record the claim number, contact information for the assigned claim representative and any important information about your claim. Ask your agent or insurance company what documentation you will be need to provide to them. If you have any questions, your agent or insurance company will assist you.

Make necessary repairs. If your property has been damaged, it is important to make any necessary temporary repairs to protect the property from further loss or damage. For example, if windows are broken, have them boarded up to protect against vandalism or weather. Be sure to save all receipts or bills to submit for your claim.

Work with claim adjuster. Your insurance company will assign a claim adjuster to inspect the damages and determine coverage. You should cooperate with the adjuster and keep written notes about conversations regarding your claim. The company should provide you with a copy of the damage estimate and if you request it, give you the name of a contractor who will do the work at the price estimated. You are not required to use the company’s recommended contractor. If all or part of the loss is not covered, the company must explain how coverage is excluded under your policy.

Understanding public adjusters. Public adjusters, licensed by the Department of Banking and Insurance, are professionals that may be hired by insurance policyholders to appraise damages to their property and negotiate their insurance claims. They are paid from the proceeds of a policyholder’s claims settlement, typically a percentage of the total amount received. State regulation requires that public adjuster contracts specify a list of services to be rendered and the maximum fee to be charged, “which fees shall be reasonably related to services rendered” and should not be excessive. They are not required for an individual to file or resolve claims with an insurance company. Consumers with questions about the process can contact the Department.

Documenting Damage. It is recommended that consumers/business owners take pictures of all damaged property before disposing of it and, if possible, retain the damaged property until the insurance company either inspects it or advises that the property can be disposed of. Consumers/business owners should ask the insurance company how to proceed, as in most cases the company will require the damaged property to be physically available for inspection and will require that it is not be removed or destroyed.

Resolving disputes. If you and the insurance company do not agree, first try to resolve your issues with the company. Sometimes it helps to have your contractor speak directly with the claim adjustor. If you cannot resolve the dispute with your insurance company, you can:

  • Contact the Department’s Consumer Hotline at 1-800-446-7467 (8:30 am to 5:00 pm EST Monday-Friday), or go to the Department website and click on Consumer Assistance - Inquiries/Complaints, at

Understand Flood Insurance

Flood insurance is not part of most insurance policies written for homeowners, as well as policies for businesses, condominium-owners and renters. Consumers can purchase a flood insurance policy from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or from an insurance company offering private flood insurance.

Consumers should be aware that flood insurance is not effective until 30 days after it is sold. Therefore, consumers who want flood insurance for this storm season should contact an approved flood insurance agent immediately and not wait for another approaching storm.

For more about flood insurance through the NFIP, go to:

Consumers can begin shopping for private flood insurance in New Jersey by consulting the Department’s private flood insurer list.

For More Information

To learn more about Homeowner’s Insurance Coverage

To learn more about Renter’s Insurance Coverage

To learn more about the National Flood Insurance Program

To learn more about emergency preparedness in New Jersey

OPRA is a state law that was enacted to give the public greater access to government records maintained by public agencies in New Jersey.
Adobe Acrobat
You will need to download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader in order to correctly view and print PDF (Portable Document Format) files from this web site.
state seal
Copyright © 2011, State of New Jersey
New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance