In advance of Hurricane Jose, a tropical storm watch was issued for parts of the Long Island and Connecticut. Although the storm is expected to stay out to sea, the area is expecting rain, rough surf, and wind and beach erosion.

As we have discussed in prior blog posts, there are steps that can be taken that will make the claims handling process go smoother if you should suffer damage to your home and/or personal property.

First, prior to the storm arriving, document the condition of your property. Take multiple photographs of both inside and outside of your home or business. Take photos of the siding, foundation, and, if possible, the roof. If you notice pre-existing cracks or problems, document that as well, so that if they worsen due to the storm, that can be taken into account.

Second, make sure that all important documents are easily locatable and safe, including a copy of the insurance policy(ies) in effect and the declaration page. If you suffered damage from Sandy and/or Irene, keep a copy of all repair records safe, to show that the damage was not pre-existing, or had been repaired prior to this loss.

Following any loss, document the damages through photographs and immediately report the loss to your insurance company. My colleague, Shane Smith, wrote a wonderful blog on September 17th regarding late notice of claim in Florida, I will be writing similar blogs on the law in New York and Connecticut regarding claim notice requirements.