New iPhone® and Android® Applications Help Consumers Track Their Belongings
HARRISBURG, Pa., Aug. 26, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Mike Consedine is asking consumers to prepare for the expected storm this weekend by readying your property, reading your insurance policy and creating an inventory of your belongings.
"With Hurricane Irene expected to hit this weekend, take this time to be proactive," said Consedine. "Homeowners and renters should make sure they have an accurate list of their belongings in case they are damaged or destroyed."
The inventory can be as simple as a hand written list, a video or something that could be captured on your cellular phone.
The new myHOME Scr.APP.book application, created by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), can photograph and capture images, descriptions, bar codes and serial numbers, and then stores them electronically for safekeeping. Information can be organized by room and the app creates a back-up file for email sharing. The myHOME Scr.APP.book application is available through iTunes® and the Android Marketplace by searching "NAIC" or "Scr.APP.book" at either site to download.
Consumers can view tutorials on how to use the myHOME Scr.APP.book applications by logging onto www.insurance.pa.gov and click on the myHome icon. A fact sheet on hurricane preparedness also is available for download.
Consedine also suggests consumers should:
- Fix any loose shingles, downspouts or shutters
- Be sure gutters are clean and free of debris
- Secure lawn furniture and anything that could become airborne in high winds
- Tend to any other problems that may become worse with heavy rain.
Flooding is not covered in a standard homeowner's policy, but wind-related damage should be covered.
"If your property is significantly damaged this weekend, it's essential you contact your insurance company as soon as possible," Consedine said. "Insurance companies must respond in a timely manner to review the damage and provide the claim service you might need."
Consumers should be aware that multiple claims under their homeowner's policies could result in a rate increase. Consedine reminds homeowners they always have the option of taking care of minor repairs on their own without reporting the damage to the insurance company.
If your claim is denied, review the terms of your policy for what is or is not covered. You may also file an appeal to your insurance company's claim manager or contact the Insurance Department.
For more information on insurance, in general, call the department's toll-free, consumer hotline at (877) 881-6388, or the department's Bureau of Consumer Services' regional office in Harrisburg at (717) 787-2317.
Media contact: Rosanne Placey or Melissa Fox, 717-787-3289
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Insurance