We hope that everyone has survived Hurricane Florence with little to no damage and your families are safe. As homeowners, you prepared as best you could for this historic event. Yet extreme weather is so unpredictable that it’s impossible to prepare for everything that can happen. We know this time is stressful and we hope that this information will help everyone move forward to recovery. Below you’ll find pertinent information on our warranty program as it relates to extreme weather plus some tips on post-disaster recovery.
Warranty service requests that were submitted prior to the storm will continue to be handled through 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty. Many roads are impassable, and more rain is in the forecast as well as rising rivers. We ask that you please be patient as we all recover from Florence’s impact and get back to normal so there may be a longer than anticipated delay in getting your requests scheduled.
Any damage incurred during the storm should be reported to your homeowner’s insurance company. Damage that occurs during a hurricane is excluded as stated in your warranty manual, page 8, Section VIII-Exclusions, #7(d). We are happy to assist your insurance company by providing details on the materials we used in the construction of your home, i.e., brand and color.
Here's some helpful tips for dealing with storm related damage and dealing with your insurance company.
Report loses as soon as you can
Contact your insurance agent as soon as possible. Provide a general description of your damage and have your policy number ready to make the transaction as quick and easy as possible.
When it comes to filing a claim, some insurance agencies make it easy for their customers with downloadable apps. You can access your policy information to report a claim, view your insurance cards or contact your agent. Insurance agencies such as N.C. Farm Bureau have an app. If you don’t have a Customer Portal yet, visit www.ncfbins.com to sign up. Once registered, download the app and you have 24/7 access to your insurance needs.
NC Claims Service Number: 1-866-205-6999
MAKE A LIST OF DAMAGED OR LOST ITEMS
If possible, keep damaged items or portions of these items until the claim adjuster has visited your home. Consider photographing or videotaping the damage to provide further documentation to support your claim. Prepare a list of damaged or lost items for your adjuster, and, if available, give the adjuster receipts for those items.
ADDITIONAL LIVING EXPENSES
If you cannot live in your home while repairs are being made, keep records of all additional expenses incurred as a result of relocating. Some homeowner insurance policies provide coverage for additional living expenses.
RETURN CLAIM FORMS
After your insurance company has been notified of your claim, the company must send you the necessary claim forms within a certain number of days. (The time period varies by state.) Fill out and return the forms as soon as possible. If you do not understand the claim process, be sure to ask for a thorough explanation. A claim adjuster may want to inspect the damage to your home and personal property. If you cannot live in your home and/or need to purchase clothing or other necessities immediately, your insurance company will most likely issue an immediate advance. The first check is usually an advance against the total settlement amount. It is not the final payment. As agreements are reached on the value of damaged property, the insurer will issue additional checks. If you have any questions, ask the claim adjuster.
WORK WITH YOUR LENDER
If you have a mortgage on your house, the check for repairs to the dwelling will usually be made out to both you and the mortgage lender. This means the mortgage company or bank will have to endorse the check. Lenders generally put the money in an escrow account and pay for the repairs as the work is completed. Be sure to contact your mortgage lender beforehand to discuss the contractor’s bid and other details. Your mortgage company may want to inspect the finished job before making the final payment to the contractor.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The following are frequently asked questions most people have for their insurance representatives after a loss due to disaster. You may want to have this list when you first contact your insurer to avoid multiple follow-up calls.
What does my insurance policy cover?
When can I expect to see my adjuster?
How large is my deductible? (The deductible is the amount of loss you agree to pay yourself when you buy a policy.)
Should I arrange quotes for repair or rebuilding, or will the insurance company do that?
If I cannot live in my house, will the insurance company pay for me to stay in a hotel or rent an apartment? What about meals, clothing and other personal items? How much may I spend?
If I decide not to replace some items that were destroyed or lost, will my insurance still pay for them?
Will my homeowner’s policy or automobile policy pay for vehicles that were parked in my garage and damaged?
Will my policy pay to replace trees and shrubs that were lost as a result of the disaster?
How long will it take to process my claim?
We hope this provides some helpful guidance during this difficult time. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us via this portal.
After the hurricane
If the authorities in your area have issued a message to not return until declared safe – heed this warning. They have your best interest at heart and will inform you when the area is safe to return home if you evacuated. If you need a place to stay, text SHELTER + your zip code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area.
When you are allowed back in, always be careful when entering a damaged building because you do not know the circumstances yet. Do not enter your home if it has visible structural damage, fire damage, smells like gas, or is flooded. Flood water can be dangerous as it can be contaminated by gas, oil, raw sewage or be electrically charged from downed power lines. If there is a downed power line or gas leak, report it ASAP. If the building has been flooded, keep electricity turned off if your power has in fact been restored.
When you begin to start the cleanup process, be careful and be smart. Use your sound judgment. Use the correct tools and use them safely. Wear protective eyewear and gloves if you have them at your disposal. If you can, hire a professional cleaning service if you don’t feel comfortable cleaning up from the hurricane.
If you lost power, and you opened your refrigerator during that time, you should discard perishable foods that had not been refrigerated for at least 4 hours. Also throw out foods that were contaminated by flooding. Again, use your sound judgment and take precautions.
DO NOT walk, swim or drive through floodwaters. A shallow depth of fast-moving floodwater produces more force than you can imagine. Even 6 inches of fast moving water can knock you down and 2 feet of water can carry away most vehicles. You also do not know if the pavement has already been washed away underneath if you plan on driving your car through a road that is covered in water.
DO NOT use generator indoors. They omit deadly amounts of carbon monoxide. Always keep them at a safe distance outdoors.
*** Stay up to date with road and flooding conditions through the NC DOT website https://www.ncdot.gov/travel-maps/traffic-travel/severe-weather/Pages/hurricane-florence.aspx
Tips from FEMA
File with FEMA and get your number ASAP! Call 1-800-621-3362 or go to their website http://www.disasterassistance.gov/ to begin applying http://www.brunswickcountync.gov/brunswick-county-among-counties-declared-for-individual-assistance-from-fema/
File a claim with both your homeowner’s & flood insurance
Your homeowner’s might cover some wind damage and most will give you money for “loss of use” if you can’t live in your home.
To file for Disaster Assistance
To file for Disaster Unemployment
If you are unable to live in your house or go to work because of a flooded or closed road, you must file an application for benefits by October 17, 2018 (30-day window). Self-employed and small business owners who lost income due to the storm qualify. Individuals who are unable to reach their jobs or self-employment locations due to the storm qualify. DUA is funded entirely by the federal government. You must first file for regular unemployment insurance. If you are determined ineligible for regular unemployment insurance, or have exhausted your regular unemployment insurance benefits, a DUA claim can be filed. To file for an unemployment insurance claim related to the disaster, call 1-866-795-8877 or visit https://des.nc.gov/des
Get rental assistance
FEMA and SBA provide rental assistant to help pay for a place to live until you get back to your home or find a new one.
If you need house repairs, rental assistance, to buy a new house, apply for an SBA loan
You may borrow up to $40,000 for repair, replace clothing, furniture, cars or appliances damaged in the disaster. The SBA can approve a loan for the repair or replacement of a home up to $200,000. Survivors may apply insurance settlements to their disaster loan.
Check your local businesses
Check local businesses for specials and discounts for people in affected areas. Businesses could offer everything from half price food to furniture. The Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce is posting businesses that are offering help.
Allow people to help you