With the approach of Hurricane Florence it appears that that NC, SC and VA are going to be significantly impacted by devastating winds and torrential downpours. There are some things that can be done in order to prepare for the storm by securing your home and preparing yourself to be ready to file for likely damages to come.
You can utilize the resources at this website (https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes) to help prepare for the storm. In addition, we strongly recommend downloading ReadyNC (or your state’s equivalent) to your smart phone as it provides great information like shelter locations, road closures, etc. Here are a few additional key steps – for insurance purposes – that we recommend taking:
- Take a video with your smart phone of the entire inside/outside of your home pre-storm
- Take still shots of high-value items such as computers, TVs, etc
- Also take pictures of the contents of your freezer/refrigerator
- Save your agent’s phone number/email and your insurance carrier’s phone number in your phone
- Keep a claim diary
These five steps will help facilitate a smooth claims process with quick and efficient communication with your adjuster.
The next thing to know are your responsibilities in the event you suffer storm damage. Here are the steps you need to take per your insurance contract:
- Notify our insurance company of damages as soon as possible
- Take steps (if safe) to prevent further damage to property (tarp roof, board windows, move property, etc)
- Document all the damage with photos/videos and begin working on an inventory of damaged personal property (noting the item and approximate value) as it will needed during your claim
- Keep all the damaged items on your property unless removal is approved by your insurance company
- Document your claim – keep all receipts, pictures, property, etc
Following these steps will help you make sure that you meet your responsibilities as the insured. With the volume of claims that will come in over the coming weeks you can expect the insurance companies to prioritize response and resources based on those most severely impacted. Maintaining effective and punctual communication with your adjuster (and agent) will keep you informed and the process moving.
Most importantly take every precaution to protect yourself and your family. Material things can be replaced and that is why you have insurance. Your agent and insurance company will do everything they can to assist you in putting your life back together after the storm. Be safe and we are here for you!