Superstorm Sandy Revisited

By: Denise Koslowsky

The first year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy gives us time to reflect what we learned from this unprecedented event. In our 45 years as insurance brokers in Westchester County, we never encountered a situation where so many people were not merely inconvenienced, but had parts of their lives destroyed.

Trees toppling onto homes, excessive flooding, the destruction of cars and other property, were only some of the many challenges we faced at a time when Advocate Brokerage itself lost power, internet, and phones.Our clients looked to us to help alleviate their suffering and in all cases we were offering comfort and advice, along with processing insurance claims.

What did we learn from Superstorm Sandy? First, and most important, everyone needs a disaster plan in place in their household and keeping your families safe is the number one most important lesson.

We learned about the power of Facebook and the need for generators, back ups to our back ups, and the need for a team of experts being available and at our fingertips to ensure that we could help all of our clients in need. We learned that our companies were amazingly prepared, and seemed to bend over backwards to help our clients get through so many disasters that we thought they never would end.

The advent of climate change means that it is possible that we could be hit by another storm of the magnitude of Superstorm Sandy. This being said, it is important that we are even more prepared for the next big event which is almost guaranteed to occur within the next few years. It is for this reason, that we not only want and recommend that our clients have the most comprehensive insurance available, but also consider purchasing flood insurance.

The loss of power was so severe that many clients, particularly small business owners, were in dire straits. We now recommend that all our clients prepare for a loss of power, and, consider installing back-up generators.

We always knew that we have the best people working for Advocate Brokerage. Superstorm Sandy proved we were right.

Many of our clients were caught off guard when Superstorm Sandy hit. They didn’t know what their insurance would cover and they turned to Advocate Brokerage to help them. It was a terrible situation for our clients and small business owners. For many, their homes were inhabitable. Others were faced with substantial damage from flood waters.

Despite the fact that Advocate Brokerage had not power, our employees came to work in a remote location with laptops and mobile phones to help our clients.

Advocate Principal Denise Koslowsky set up a satellite office in her home to help customers file claims. “That’s the level of service you grow to expect from Advocate,” said Lynn Palma, an Account Manager with Advocate for thirteen years. “We are a firm that exemplifies commitment to customer satisfaction,” she added.

“We had never experienced a storm of this magnitude, but fortunately the majority of our clients had excellent coverage,” said.

Helping Advocate clients have peace of mind that their insurance is complete and up to date is an important part of the company’s service. Superstorm Sandy demonstrated the Advocate’s commitment to its clients despite a complete loss of power. “We are a family owned business and we view our employees and clients as an extension of our own family,” said Roz Binday, the company’s founder. “That’s the cornerstone of our success.”

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