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Services for Consumers

Disaster and Recovery

Spring Storm Questions and Answers

  • Does my homeowners policy cover flood damage?
    • Most policies cover damage from falling water or rain blown by the wind, but not from rising water or flooding. In most cases you must have an additional flood policy to cover damage from rising water or flooding.
  • What should folks who've had damage from a windstorm do first?
    • Contact your insurance agent as quickly as possible and ask for instructions on what to do until your adjuster arrives.
    • Begin preparing an inventory of personal property damaged or destroyed and take pictures of the damaged property.
    • Protect your property from further damage. Your reasonable expenses to protect your property are part of the loss and are generally reimbursed by insurance companies. Keep all receipts.
    • Do not have permanent repairs made until your insurance company has inspected the property and you have reached an agreement on the cost of repairs.
  • What if your home is too damaged to live in?
    • If necessary, rent temporary shelter. If your home is uninhabitable because of physical damage, most homeowners' policies will pay additional living expenses while your property is being repaired. Lack of power or water is not considered physical damage and, therefore, additional living expenses will not be covered. Before renting temporary shelter, check with your insurance company or agent to determine what expenses will be reimbursed.
  • What about damage from fallen trees, is that covered?
    • Damage to your home from fallen trees is covered under most homeowners' policies. Most companies will pay to have trees removed from the damaged structure, such as your home, garage or fence, as well as off the residence.
    • The policy does not cover the removal of trees unless the tree damaged a covered property.
    • Damage to your parked vehicle from a fallen tree is covered under your comprehensive automobile insurance.
  • Many people lost a lot of food which spoiled when the power went out. Is that covered?
    • Most homeowners' policies cover food which spoils due to power loss only if the individual feeder line to your home is down, not in instances of widespread power failure.
    • However, you can be covered in the event of widespread power failure if you purchased a "Refrigerated Property Coverage" endorsement. This endorsement allows up to $500 in coverage with a $100 deductible.
  • What should people do if they can't reach their agent?
    • DOI has claims phone numbers for the major insurers in NC.
    • Call 800-546-5664 (toll free in N.C.) for these numbers.