Understanding your insurance policy as hurricane gets closer

HAMPTON, Va. - Hurricane Florence is expected to a dangerous storm, which means your property could be at risk.

If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to read over your insurance policy.

“A lot of people think that homeowners policies pay for flood,” Farmers Insurance Agent Valarie Beverley said. “They just don’t.”

She told us the first thing to do is make sure you have flood insurance, not just homeowners insurance.

That’s the only way your agency will pay up.

“A lot of people think that they have to be in a flood zone in order to purchase it or, if they’re not in a flood zone, they don’t need it. Especially here in Hampton, there are a lot of areas that flood that are not required to have flood insurance,” Beverley explained.

Once you’ve checked your policy, secure your home from potential damage; take pictures of your valuables and collect important documents.

Folks without flood insurance aren’t at a complete loss.

If you sign up for flood insurance right now, your policy actually won’t go into effect for another 30 days. Agents told us you might be lucky and not have to pay for all of the repairs out of pocket.

“If the president declares this particular area as a disaster area, then FEMA can come in and provide some disaster assistance to your family,” Beverley mentioned.

If your home is isn’t left in one piece after the storm, we’re told you should immediately call your insurance agent, make temporary repairs and take pictures of the damage.

Flood insurance is also recommended for renters.

Beverley said car owners must have comprehensive coverage for flood protection.