Hurricanes

Getting storm, flood insurance

Posted May 28, 2009

Learn how to get storm, wind and flood insurance coverage for your home, belongings and vehicles. If you have questions or problems concerning your insurance coverage, call the North Carolina Department of Insurance’s Consumer Services Division toll-free in-state at 800-546-5664.

  • Make sure that your home is ensured well before storm season starts. Coverage usually only kicks in 30 days after a policy has been purchased.
  • Review your policy with your agent annually. Ask, “What exactly does my policy cover, and what needs are not met?” Consider that homeowners policies do not cover flood damage, and some policies in coastal areas may not cover windstorm damage. Don’t wait until the storm is approaching to upgrade your coverage.
  • Flood insurance can be obtained by qualifying property owners by contacting your local agent or through the National Flood Insurance program. Call 800-638-6620 for more information.
  • Residents living in rental property should consider purchasing renter’s insurance to cover losses of personal property within the rental unit. Your landlord’s policy will not cover your personal possessions in the event of a loss.
  • Consider the type of coverage you purchase — actual cash value or replacement value. Replacement value will pay to replace your home at current building costs and with similar materials. This is usually a higher value and can cost a bit more, but this extra coverage can be important if your home is destroyed in a storm.
  • Make a list of your belongings and take pictures or videotape them. Include a close-up shot of the day’s newspaper to provide the date. Keep your inventory list along with purchase receipts, pictures and your insurance policy in a safe-deposit box or other safe place away from your home. If you are forced to evacuate, take a copy of your policy with you.
  • Find out if you have comprehensive car coverage. This will usually reimburse you for damage to your car caused by falling objects or flood.
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