How to File Hurricane Florence Claims
Taking the following 8 steps to file your Hurricane Florence damages as soon as possible can help make it easier on you and on your insurance company representatives who will be working hard to try to help you.
1. File a claim by contacting your insurance company and/or agent ASAP. If you do not have your carrier’s phone number click here.
2. Ask the insurance company representative:
- If the damage you described is covered under your policy
- When will your claim be adjusted and who will adjust it
- How long it might take to process your claim
- What they need with regard to repair estimates
- What you can and should do to mitigate (lessen) your damages
Write down your claim number.
3. Take photos and/or videos of damaged property and make notes about the damage – particularly if there is structural damage. Do not discard damaged items until an adjuster has inspected them. Many insurers, such as Travelers and USAA, are using drones to take photos of damages. If you cannot get to your property, ask your insurer if they have drones in the area that can take photos of your property damage.
4. Retrieve any receipts you have for damaged or destroyed property.
5. Keep a journal of every conversation with insurance representatives and others involved in your claim. Record the day and time of the conversation, the name of the person you spoke with, and make note of any monetary amounts mentioned.
6. Keep all receipts for living expenses while away – hotel rooms, food, and other costs of evacuation. Most homeowner policies that cover wind damage will cover those costs.
7. When a claims adjuster arrives, ask if they work for your insurance company or for an independent adjuster. If independent, ask if they are authorized to make claims decisions and payments on behalf of your insurance company. Also ask for the name of your insurance company’s adjuster that the independent adjuster will be sending your information to.
8. Be cautious of strangers who phone you or show up in person claiming to be adjusters or contractors. Your insurance company should tell you the date and time an adjuster will be meeting you.
Additional Claims Assistance
The N.C. Department of Insurance is assisting residents and business owners in filing claims by setting up Victim Assistance Centers in shopping centers and other public places. Click here for locations and other worthwhile information.
State aid from the North Carolina government can help with rebuilding or repairing your home. To learn more click here.
Federal assistance from FEMA may include temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs. Aid is available for your primary residence or business only — not vacation homes. The agency will not duplicate what you receive from your insurance company, but you may receive assistance for items not covered by insurance. Apply by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired.
Was Your Vehicle Damaged?
If your vehicle was damaged by a fallen tree or flooding, your comprehensive coverage should cover that damage up to your policy limits.
If you file a vehicle damage claim with your insurance company and they suggest you use one of their “preferred” or “direct repair shops” (DRP) to repair or “dry” your vehicle, proceed with caution. Some DRP shops have been known to cut corners. We’ve seen some use generic or substandard parts instead of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts recommended by the auto maker in order to make a profit when the insurance company does not reimburse them for a full and safe repair. This has sometimes led to injuries and subsequent lawsuits. Click here for more information you need to know about direct repair shops.
We hope this information helps you get your life back in order as quickly and painlessly as possible. Please continue to take safety precautions, obey authorities, and try to remain patient in this very trying time for our state.