The Buffalo, New York, region is continuing to recover and assess damages from last week’s record-breaking lake-effect snowstorm that brought more than 7 feet of snow to the area.
State Farm spokesperson Rachael Risinger said that as of Tuesday, Nov. 25, there have been 564 homeowners claims received for Buffalo and the surrounding areas in wake of last week’s snowstorm. The majority of the claims have been for collapse, cracked drywall and sagging roofs, she said.
If it is safe to do so, policyholders should make any temporary repairs to prevent further damage, Risinger advised. “We also encourage our customers to take pictures of the damaged property, keep notes and use inventory lists to help adjusters assess the damages.”
First Niagara Risk Management, an independent insurance agency based in Buffalo, said it has been receiving claims ranging from roof and wall collapses and auto damages to business interruption.
And as the snow begins to melt, “now we are seeing significant interior water damage types of claims from the snow that’s been sitting on roofs and some flooding activity. We are probably going to start seeing drain backups,” said Michael Bonetto, regional director of insurance for First Niagara Risk Management.
Regarding the volume of claims, so far “it hasn’t been as overwhelming as we anticipated in the start, though it has picked up over the past few days,” said Madonna Verrastro, insurance group leader at First Niagara. A lot of it may have to do with people still recovering from the effects of the snowstorm and it’s been taking some time for them to realize damages that are left behind, said Verrastro. “For both commercial and personal lines, claims have come in slow and steady,” she said.
And while there have been some minor flooding from the snow melt in the region, the threat of serious flooding has eased, according to local media reports.
“As media has been reporting for the last day and a half, the flooding part of it has not been nearly what we were expecting. The flooding is not as overwhelming as we originally anticipated. There are some basements that have been affected,” said Bonetto.
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