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Claims

Common Questions

My claim is still outstanding, when will that be resolved?

Our claims team will continue to be on site to address and resolve all claims and related concerns. You can contact your assigned claims adjuster to check the status of your claim or discuss additional details.

How do I escalate my claim issue?

We recognize some customers may have concerns about their claims that require escalation.There are two ways to contact us if you have a claims-related concern that needs to be escalated:

Via Email (Preferred)

[Please do not include any sensitive personal information (such as driver’s license number, social security number) in any email that you send through this process]

What to do if you have a claims related concern:

  • If you have a concern that your claims adjuster is unable to assist you with, please send an email to report the concern, with your claim number, address, contact information, and a detailed description of your concern, to MerrimackEscalations@nisource.com.
  • An email acknowledgement will be sent to you upon receipt.
  • Within 72 hours, we will send an email or place a phone call using the contact information you provide to discuss your concern and to work towards a solution.  Please allow the full 72 hours for a response, as we will need time to review your claim.
  • The investigation process may include review by one or more of the following groups: 
    • Claim Adjuster Management Staff
    • Columbia Gas Management Staff
    • Independent Third Party (Ombudsman)

Via Phone

  • If you have a concern that your claims adjuster is unable to assist you with, and you are unable to email, you may call 1-800-590-5571, option 4, to report the matter. Please have your claim number, address, contact information, and a detailed description of your concern ready.
  • Your information will be entered into the system so your claim file and comments can be reviewed.
  • Within 72 hours, we will reach out to you using the contact information you provide to discuss your concern and to work towards a solution.  Please allow the full 72 hours for a response, as we will need time to review your claim.
  • The investigation process may include review by one or more of the following groups:
    • Claim Adjuster Management Staff
    • Columbia Gas Management Staff
    • Independent Third Party (Ombudsman)
My claim is still outstanding. How can you say you’re “nearing the restoration of gas service to affected customers”?

While we are nearing our goal of restoring gas service to affected customers, we know there is still much work to do, including addressing and resolving all claims and related concerns.

You can contact your assigned claims adjuster to check the status of your claim or discuss additional details.

I am already working with my insurance carrier to arrange for damage repairs to my house due to the September 13th event. Will Columbia Gas reimburse my deductible?

Columbia Gas will reimburse reasonable out-of-pocket expenses your homeowner’s insurance does not cover, including deductibles incurred because of a policy claim. Please discuss with your claims adjuster and keep track of your receipts and expenses so you can be reimbursed.

Can I switch from gas heating to another fuel source?

Yes. Customers who want to switch fuel sources should file a claim and speak with a claims adjuster.

Columbia Gas is reimbursing customers for the reasonable cost of replacing their gas equipment. Customers may choose to use this reimbursement to help pay for converting to electric air source heat pumps or any other alternate fuel.

Customers interested in converting to air source heat pumps should contact National Grid, the electric Program Administrator and Mass Save sponsor in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover, at 1-866-251-5667 for assistance in obtaining available rebates and incentives, as well as a qualified contractor to install this technology.

I would like to install an air-forced heat pump or mini-split AC/Heating solution. It is my temporary solution while I wait for my gas to be restored, so shouldn’t you cover it?

Our intent is to reimburse you for temporary solutions that replace appliances impacted by the event on September 13, (i.e. providing heat due to the lack of a furnace or boiler). Air-forced heat pumps and mini-split AC/Heating solutions provide both heating AND cooling, and do not represent a like-for-like replacement of impacted equipment and appliances. However, we recognize that each situation is unique and our claims team will evaluate each need based on both cost considerations and best fit temporary solutions.

How do I file or obtain the status of my claim?

You can file a claim by calling 1-800-590-5571.

If you've already filed a claim, contact your assigned claims adjuster to check the status of your claim or add additional details.

Can a landlord make a claim regarding a tenant?

No, the tenant must make their own claim for damages such as spoiled food or personal property owned by the tenant. Landlord claims will include damages to the building, equipment and property owned by the landlord.

When will the reimbursement process start? Do I have to wait for all bills to be submitted before I am reimbursed or if I send in documentation for each cost will I get reimbursed right away?

The reimbursement process for additional living expenses has already started. You can submit your reimbursement claims as you choose. You may prefer to submit one comprehensive claim covering all of your expenses. Others may prefer to submit claims for discreet expenses as they’re incurred. You must provide evidence of the costs being claimed and provide supporting receipts to their adjuster. If additional documentation is necessary, your adjuster will provide guidance on what additional information is required to support your claim.

What are considered reasonable costs? Do you cover expenses for a pellet stove, water heater, heating system, electric blankets? Is there a dollar limit on reasonable costs or should I contact the Property Claims hotline first?

Every situation is different, and we want to respond to your individual needs. You should first have a conversation with your assigned adjuster (after you have opened an initial claim) and discuss what you would like to do and/or purchase. The adjuster can then provide guidance on what the reasonable costs for that plan would be. If you are not able to wait for gas service to be restored, you may elect to contract directly with an appropriate certified licensed contractor to install appliances and systems that are fueled by sources other than natural gas (such as electric, propane or fuel oil). If you do hire a contractor, we require that the customer obtain detailed contractor receipts, which must include the customer’s name, service address, make/model of parts, and labor, so that we may reimburse customers for reasonable costs. Alternatively, you may request that we directly pay a certified licensed contractor who has agreed to install the systems described in this paragraph. To discuss whether you qualify for such direct payment option, you should contact the claims hotline.  You should be prepared to provide us with a detailed estimate of the work to be performed and contact information for the contractor.

How will I be paid for my losses?

After receiving the required documentation of your loss or damage, all claims will be paid.

Multiple forms of payment are available for impacted individuals and businesses, including physical checks and/or reloadable debit cards.

Ongoing payments will be specific for your current and future losses.

I already filed a claim. How do I check the status?

Contact your assigned claims adjuster to check the status of your claim or add additional details.

I want to switch my appliances or systems to an alternative fuel source now, then I want to switch back to natural gas once my service is restored. Will you pay for that?

Yes. If a residential customer wishes to temporarily switch to appliances and systems that are fueled by sources other than natural gas (such as electric, propane or fuel oil) for the duration of the service outage, and then return to natural gas-fueled appliances, we will reimburse you for reasonable costs associated with both the temporary solution as well as the return to natural gas-fueled appliances and systems. It is important that you have your home evaluated by a licensed electrician or technician prior to switching to any alternate electric solution to ensure it is safe to do so. Customers who want to temporarily switch appliances should file a claim at 1-800-590-5571 if they have not already done so, and speak with a claims adjuster. In order to expedite this process, it would be helpful to procure an estimate from a licensed contractor for the work to be done prior to making this call.

What happens next after I have established that I have a claim?

For all residential claims, a claims specialist will be assigned to follow up with you and evaluate your losses, as well as determine if any further immediate assistance is required to address your needs. We know that getting help and providing assurance to you is important, so we will work to make the claim process as easy as possible.

If I get a prepaid card, do I waive my right to receive more reimbursement through the claims process?

Absolutely not. We are committed to reimbursing you for all reasonable losses caused by this incident that can be supported. The prepaid card is only a first step in providing immediate assistance to you. By receiving this card, you are not waiving your rights to additional reimbursement under the claims process.

I have expenses for hotel/food. Will you reimburse me?

We will reimburse displaced residents for child care, lost wages and lost food, and reasonable accommodations until it is safe to return home. You can request reimbursement by contacting our Property Claims Helpline at 1-800-590-5571. Please keep track of your receipts and expenses so you can be reimbursed.