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A Guide to Filing Insurance Claims

Hurricane Florence has left a devastating path in her wake. As residents of North Carolina recover from the aftermath, it is important to know exactly what you need to do to navigate your insurance policy. To help you assess damages to your home and file claims after the hurricane, here are some recommended steps to follow.

You should report your claim as soon as possible, given that claims are processed on a first come, first serve basis. While there may currently be a high volume of calls, leading to longer wait times, waiting now will likely be more valuable than putting it off until later.

When on the phone, make sure to write down your claim number for reference. Keep this number easily accessible, so any follow-up calls will be efficient. Keep all receipts for any expenses related to immediate repairs or living expenses, a list of damaged items, and the corresponding photo or video documentation to give to the insurance adjuster. Bear in mind, however, that if your policy is limited to flood insurance, any additional living expenses will likely not be covered.

When the adjuster arrives, be sure to ask whether they are an employee of the company or an independent adjuster. If they are an independent adjuster, confirm that they are authorized to make claim decisions on behalf of your insurance provider by asking for the name of their third-party firm. Verifying that you are speaking with trusted representatives of your insurance policy provider, whether in-person or over-the-phone, is a way to protect yourself from those seeking personal information about insurance payments.

Even if you do not have flood insurance, it never hurts to call your insurance provider anyway. While you may not be covered for flood damage, some home insurance policies cover water and wind damage that may have resulted from Hurricane Florence. If your car was struck by downed trees from your or your neighbor’s property, it may be covered under your auto policy or your neighbor’s policy.

If you do not have an insurance policy, you may still be able to seek help from nonprofit groups or through federal disaster relief. You can register for federal disaster relief at DisasterAssistance.gov, on the FEMA mobile app, or by calling 1-800-621-3362.

Although it is difficult to be fully prepared for the effects of a hurricane, anyone can take the steps to recover and repair damages afterward. Following these tips can help your policy work for you in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.