Hidden Costs

One Family's Story

Crazy Climate

Climate change increases the risk of record-breaking extreme weather events that threaten communities across the country. In 2012, there were 3,527 monthly weather records broken for heat, rain, and snow in the US …. and some of the newly-broken records had stood for 30 years or more.

Extreme weather events inflict tremendous costs on our health and families.

ACE Disaster Protection

Essential insurance for the climate change age.

With more extreme weather happening more frequently, the chance of property damage increases dramatically. Your current property insurance may only cover structural damage. The gaps—deductibles, mortgage, and other uncovered costs—are yours to pay. In fact, according to the Consumer Federation of America, insurance companies have significantly decreased their financial responsibility for weather catastrophes—shifting much of the risk and costs for these events to consumers.

ACE Disaster Protection Plans

Offer an affordable way to protect yourself from these "hidden costs" while your home is being rebuilt:

  • Array of coverage options—from deductible reimbursement to emergency cash payments to mortgage protection.
  • Homeowners, mobile homes and rental properties eligible.
  • Covers a variety of disasters from large-scale weather events to kitchen fires.

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Claims Corner

Welcome to the Claims Corner! We would like to introduce you to our Claim Experts, give you some background on their experience, and also let you in on a few tips they have shared with us. From time to time, we will be updating the information in this corner and hopefully provide you with some helpful tips to get through the claim process.

We all hope that a catastrophic event will never affect us; unfortunately the weather patterns seem to tell a different story. But don't think the weather is the only catastrophe that could throw you for a long hard road. Things such as house fires, ruptured pipes, and other similar events are just as devastating when it happens to you!

Our Claim Experts have an average of 30 years experience in the field. They have worked through many catastrophes including Hurricane Katrina, the tornados affecting Joplin, Missouri and Georgia, and wild fires that have burned homes to the ground in California. In addition to being available 24 hours a day/7 days a week to report a claim, our dedicated claims team never gets overwhelmed, as they can quickly pull in other members within the ACE Catastrophe Team when needed.

Since many of us are novices when it comes to being affected by a catastrophic loss (such as Superstorm Sandy, which did unspeakable damage to the East Coast) our claims folks thought it would be helpful to provide some suggestions to help you prepare.

Before a disaster hits you–put your important papers, such as your insurance policies, will, etc., into a waterproof plastic storage tub with a locking lid, like the ones you can pick up in department stores. Then it's easy to grab the tub when you are heading out the door in a hurry to go to safety.

You may not be able to return to your home for several days, remember your pets. Research in advance and know where you can take them if shelters in your area don't allow pets. This will be one less thing on your mind.

After a wide-spread disaster, realize that recovery will take some time. Everything will seem to move more slowly than you would like. While you'd like to be back in your home in three days, it might be weeks or months depending on the damage your home suffers.

FEMA will be on hand, but they are there to provide emergency funds, and you might have to take money out of your pocket up front and submit for reimbursements.· Homeowners and Flood carriers will be working as hard as they can, but when there is widespread loss, they can't get to everyone in the next day – and maybe not in the next week.

A word about "Public Adjustors"–these are individuals who will act on your behalf, communicating with your insurance company in attempts to facilitate repairs. They do not work for your insurance company, and once you contract with a Public Adjustor, you are no longer communicating with your own insurance company. Also, keep in mind–they are paid by you, either from the proceeds of your insurance benefits or out of your own pocket.

Once you have your home inspected, the next step is going to be finding someone to fix it for you. Beware of unlicensed contractors who might come from out of your area. They may take a deposit to start repairs and then you will never see them again. Ask for licenses and references.

If you are reading this, you most likely are a prepared person, or someone who is thinking about preparing for disasters. You might already have ACE Disaster coverage and if a disaster strikes, once your claim has been submitted, you will be receiving either your monthly mortgage paid, or monthly Emergency Cash, or both!

Your ACE Claims representative will follow up with you each month to guide you through the process, check on the progress of your repairs, and send payments that are due.

Many of the ACE Disaster Protection customers are surprised when they discover the actual coverage they have! In addition to receiving a reimbursement for insurance deductibles, their mortgage is paid and they receive extra cash to put toward other expenses they incur such as pet boarding, cleaning services, replacing clothing and other necessities, that have also been damaged. Stay tuned for more from our Claim Experts! If there is a topic you would like to see covered in this section, please email us.

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Ask The Expert

Peter Uzzi

Vice President, ACE American Insurance Co.
Direct Markets Claims

Peter has 15+ years of experience helping customers and claims adjustors to understand and improve the experience of filing and settling claims.

Disaster Facts

"National Flood Insurance Program a disgrace"

With 70% of the filed claims unresolved 3 months after Super Storm Sandy hit, the governor of New Jersey has called The National Flood Insurance Programs handling of claims " a disgrace" and pressured New Jersey congressmen for help. Super Storm Sandy damaged or destroyed about 346,000 housing units in New Jersey, resulting in estimated damage and storm-mitigation costs of $37 billion.

– AP, Union NJ, USA Today, February 5th, 2013

$200 billion in economic losses in 2012

Global natural disasters in 2012 combined to cause economic losses of $200 billion, just above the ten year average of $187billion. All told there were 295 separate events, compared to an average of 257. The disasters caused insured losses of $72 billion, about 36 percent above the ten year run-rate of $53 billion

– Annual Global Climate and Catastrophic Report, Impact Forecasting, 2012 AON Benfield

All dollars are U.S.

Colorado Homeowners Feel Disasters Impact on Insurance

El Paso County residents are waging battles against insurance companies who, they say, have denied their claims of hail, flood, or fire damage. Some have appealed to state legislators to intercede on their behalf, asking for more time to repair damage or replace destroyed items; others have given up in their struggle for settlements.

– By Ryan Maye Handy <ryan.handy@gazette.com> through Insurancenetnews.com

Mortgage delinquencies have jumped about four times the U.S. average…

…in areas of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut that were damaged by Hurricane Sandy, according to Lender Processing Services Inc. Sandy made landfall on Oct. 29, killing more than 100 people, inundating New York City's subway system and destroying waterfront properties from New Jersey's Atlantic City to Greenwich, Connecticut. While many homeowners fell behind because of brief disruptions, such as difficulty retrieving mail after the storm, some people lost homes and jobs that won't be replaced easily, said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH.com, a Pompton Plains, New Jersey-based mortgage-information website.

– Bloomberg News, January 14th 2013

Disaster Preparedness

Do1Thing.com

"It's hard to keep something as simple as water in mind, but its important." Plan on having 72 hours of drinkable water either in bottles, stored at your home or easily accessible in other ways.

– Do1Thing.com, February 2013