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         Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) is providing information from the New York State Department of Financial Services about steps residents should take if they sustained damage during Hurricane Sandy.

         The New York State Department of Financial Services advises residents to:

         · File insurance claims with their insurers promptly and as soon as possible after losses occur. It is important to provide policy numbers and all information relevant to the loss.

         · To best document losses, take photos or videos showing the extent of the losses before cleaning up damage.

         · Make only necessary repairs to prevent further damage to property, like covering broken windows. Permanent repairs should not be made until after insurers have inspected losses. Damaged personal property should be kept until after an insurance settlement has been reached.

         · Cooperate fully with your insurer and keep a diary of all conversations with the insurance agent, including the agent’s name, as well as the times and dates of all calls or visits.

         Additionally, the Department of Financial Services set up a disaster assistance consumer hotline which consumers can call for help. Consumers can call the hotline at 1-800-339-1759 between 8 am and 8 pm on weekdays and 9 am to 4 pm on weekends.