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Common Questions

Our electric bill is going to be so much higher with the space heaters and hot plates. Are we going to be reimbursed for this?

Every situation is being reviewed in order to customize the solution that addresses the situation. If you haven’t already, you should first open an initial claim at 1-800-590-5571, and talk to an adjuster, who will be assigned to you throughout the restoration process. We will reimburse the reasonable additional living expenses that you incur as a result of this incident. The best advice is to please keep receipts and copies of bills.

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.
What about people that live in the home and have medical conditions and cannot be in a cold house -- what are their options?
If you require alternate or temporary housing, notify your adjuster immediately. The adjuster will work with you to acquire temporary housing.
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.
If a business/commercial property has questions, how would I get answers?

You should open an initial claim at 1-800-590-5571. Once an adjuster is assigned to the claim, you will talk directly with the adjuster who will be assigned to your claim throughout the restoration process. Depending on the nature of the claim made, it is likely that you will need to provide more documentation than a residential customer, which could include your business license, three to six months of profit/loss statements, payroll records for the past three months and invoices related to the incident. If you need immediate assistance, you can get an immediate advance to assist with ongoing expenses. These advances can be secured with minimal paperwork (such as the name of owner, business name, identification, nature of losses being claimed, and a rough estimate of losses). Such advances to a business will be incorporated into your overall 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.
Is the process different for business claims?

No. An experienced claims representative will assist with payment of your losses or damages.

Can I repair or replace my property and appliances in advance of official claim work done by Columbia Gas?

If you choose to repair or replace items in advance of the work we will perform, you may be reimbursed for out of pocket costs. We will reimburse all reasonable costs, subject to providing the information listed below.

The following information may be applicable and required:

  • Police/fire incident reports or photographs documenting damages
  • Type of work performed, noting between "investigation" (work to determine whether property has been damaged and the extent of damage) or "repair/replacement" (the costs to fix existing property or to install new property of like kind and quality materials)
  • Test results or contractor's report from a certified or licensed contractor, indicating a failure, or need for repair or replacement
  • Brief narrative description that will aid in explaining the rationale for the contractor’s decision to repair or replace
  • Itemized cost of materials used for repairs
  • Make, model, year, type, unit price and/or photographs of all damaged equipment replaced
  • Documentation for any other charges or costs incurred in making repairs
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.

What documents do I need to bring to the Property Claims Center?

To establish an initial claim at the Property Claims Center, verbal confirmation of loss, valid photo identification, proof of residency in affected area and an in-person meeting are needed. A monetary advance payment toward your loss can be provided to meet immediate needs for evacuation expenses, food spoilage, child care costs, etc.

Following your in-person meeting, a claims representative will follow-up to begin the loss adjustment process. If you have already received an advance payment and plan to visit the Property Claims Center a second time, please ensure you bring documentation of your loss or damage (i.e, receipts for food, pay stubs, hotel bills, etc). Please note, you will not necessarily need to return to the Property Claims Center to provide this documentation. It can be provided via mail or electronically to your claims representative and a check will be cut to you.

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.

What documentation or information is helpful for a business claim?

Here are some items that can help with prompt processing of a business owner’s claim:

  • Name of owner(s)
  • Identification (driver’s license, passport, etc.)
  • Name of business
  • Business licenses
  • 3 to 6 months of the most recent profit/loss statements
  • Payroll records for the past 3 months
  • Invoices evidencing any unusual or extra expenses incurred as a result of this incident
  • Any expenses unique to your business that you attribute to the disruption of your gas service
  • Estimates or costs to repair any property damage
What comes next after I establish a business claim?

You will be assigned a claims specialist to assist you in providing appropriate documentation of business losses and impacts, and to determine if additional advances are needed to assist with ongoing business expenses. We will work with you to make the claims process as easy as possible.

How can I get help for my business?

The fastest way to get help for your business is to call the 24-hour claims hotline at 1-800-590-5571. Over the phone, you can establish a claim and begin the process to get any needed advance.

I need immediate help for my business. What should I do?

Businesses impacted by this event can get an immediate advance to assist with ongoing business expenses. These advances can be secured with minimal paperwork (such as the name of owner, business name, identification, nature of losses being claimed, and a rough estimate of losses). All reimbursement advanced to a business will be incorporated into each business owner’s claim.

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.

I don’t have immediate needs, but want to let you know that I will have a claim. Do I have to come in to the claim center, or can I simply call you?

If you do not have immediate needs, we recommend you call our 24-hour claims hotline at 1-800-590-5571 to establish your claim.

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 will need to file a detailed claim at some point, but right now I have immediate needs. What should I do?

Come to one of our Claim Centers (see current locations) to immediately receive a pre-paid card worth up to $300 to assist with immediate needs.  At that time, we also can start the process for assessing the full extent of your losses.

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

Columbia Gas 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.