Goodwin Encourages North Carolinians to Prepare for Hurricane Matthew

Insurance Commissioner Goodwin provides insurance tips for Hurricane Matthew.

RALEIGH— With Hurricane Matthew shifting toward North Carolina, Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin reminds all North Carolinians to be prepared for severe weather by visiting www.NCHurriClaims.com or calling the Department of Insurance at 855-408-1212.

“It’s always better to be safe than sorry,” said Goodwin. “Compiling important documents and making a home inventory are simple things you can do right now to ease the insurance claims process should you suffer property damage or loss.”

It is important to fill your prescriptions. Citizens are encouraged to review their prescription needs and seek an early refill if needed.

Here are five things that will help you prepare your home:

1.    Make sure you have adequate insurance coverage. Know exactly what your insurance policy does and does not cover. Homeowners policies do not cover flooding; you can only purchase flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program. However, there is typically a 30-day waiting period before flood policies take effect, so don’t wait until a storm is approaching to purchase coverage. If you live in a rental property, your landlord’s insurance only covers the building. None of your personal belongings are insured unless you purchase your own renter’s policy.

2.    Compile important documents. Gather important paperwork, including insurance policies, medical records, prescriptions, etc. Be prepared to bring copies with you if you evacuate your home.

3.    Create a home inventory. Go room to room in your home and write down the brand name, description, estimated value and date of purchase of items in your home. It is also helpful to compile receipts, appraisal documents and serial numbers. Take videos or photographs of your belongings. Store your home inventory and related documents in a safe, easily-accessible place online, on your smartphone, on your computer or in a fire-proof box or safe deposit box.

4.    Identify potential hazards around your home. Hanging tree branches, loose shingles, patio furniture and other outdoor objects can cause damage or injuries in a storm. Make repairs or secure large objects to reduce the threat.

5.    Review contact information. Make sure you have up-to-date contact information for your insurance agent and insurance company, and make sure they have accurate contact information to reach you.

Learn more about preparing for a hurricane or disaster at www.nchurriclaims.com or by calling the N.C. Department of Insurance at 855-408-1212. Hurricane season begins June 1 and ends Nov. 30.