BOSTON, Aug. 31 -- Liberty Mutual Group issued the following news release:
"Hurricane Isaac was here." This is the indelible signature he left for car and homeowners throughout South Louisiana. To help customers promptly and safely recover from the storm, Liberty Mutual Insurance has several hundred catastrophe claims specialists dedicated to handling Isaac-related claims, including property experts in the hardest-hit areas and specialists available by telephone. To facilitate quicker customer response, Liberty Mutual has set up special home and auto claims mobile units in Baton Rouge and Metairie.
"Helping our customers in their time of greatest need is our first responsibility, and we have dedicated considerable resources to ensure that we are responding as promptly as possible to everyone who has experienced a loss from Isaac," said Ted Gramer, Liberty Mutual Insurance executive vice president and chief claims officer. "Once safe to do so, customers should to reach out to us by phone, internet, mobile application, or at these two customer care locations with their claims or questions."
Liberty Mutual home and car insurance customers are encouraged to first report their claims 24 hours a day by calling 1-800-2-CLAIMS (1-800-225-2467). Liberty Mutual claims representatives also will report flood claims to the National Flood Insurance Program on customers' behalf.
For homeowners requiring urgent assistance, these dedicated claims response centers are currently open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. CST, Monday-Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 pm CST, weekends and holidays:
* Liberty Mutual Insurance, 4000 South Sherwood Forest Boulevard, Baton Rouge
* Lakeside Mall (Dillards), 3301 Veterans Memorial Boulevard, Metairie
(Note: the Liberty Mutual mobile claims units will relocate to any insurance "village" set up by the Department of Insurance.)
Homeowners can meet with Liberty Mutual Insurance catastrophe specialists at these locations to discuss their claims, obtain policy information, and in some cases get initial claims payments for covered losses or receive advances to cover anticipated out-of-pocket costs such as food, clothing, housing and personal items.
The aftermath of a hurricane can be equally dangerous, with severe flooding likely. Liberty Mutual Insurance offers the following tips to help homeowners protect their property from further damage after Isaac. These and more Isaac claims information is available at libertymutual.com/prepare .
1. Wait for an OK from an official agency, either police or local emergency management, before re-entering your home.
2. Look for hazards, including loose wires, broken gas lines or submerged electrical appliances. Have all utilities and appliances thoroughly checked by a professional before use in order to avoid electrocution.
3. Keep circuit breakers turned off until the power is back on. Then investigate for electrical system damage for frayed wires or burning smells. Turn the electricity off if you detect these or other problems.
4. Check for gas leaks. If you detect a leak, get away from the house immediately and notify the gas company at once from a safe location.
5. Boil water before drinking or cooking, or use bottled water.
6. Service septic tanks and leaching systems as soon as possible.
7. Stay away from power lines.
8. Pump out flooded basements gradually to avoid structural damage. A rate of about one-half of the floodwater per day should be safe.
9. Throw out any medicines or food -- even canned goods -- touched by floodwater.
10. Let your car dry out before trying to start it.
11. Take an inventory of any damaged property or possessions. Other than food or medicine, do not dispose of any items without the prior approval of your insurance claims adjuster.
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