Preparing for Dorian: What insurance agents want you to do before storm hits

HAMPTON, Va. - You bought batteries, filled up sand bags and stocked up on food and water, but there's one more thing you need to cross off your hurricane check list before we feel the effects of Hurricane Dorian.

Aftermath from a possible tornado, Emerald Isle, NC (Pine Knoll Shores Police Department)

"One of the most important things to do now before the storm hits is know where your insurance policy are and know what your coverage is," explained Erica Chigos-White, a State Farm insurance agent.

While it's too late to add any insurance coverage to your home now, making an inventory list with pictures of items you own can make filing claims easier both physically and emotionally.

"There is a stress level that people need to be ready to process," said Chigos-White. "When you have a lot of damage, emotionally you are upset and it’s hard to remember, 'Did I have that there? Or was it in the storage building? Is it in the attic someplace?'"

If you do have damage, Chigos-White says to call your insurance company immediately and not to throw anything out.

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"Your insurance company is going to want to see it before you throw anything away," she explained. "If you do need to replace stuff - for example, you can’t get back in your house - keep your receipts for everything you do. If you have no power and your house is damaged and the roof is off, keep receipts for going out to eat, keep receipts of buying basic clothes."

If Hurricane Dorian doesn't bring any damage to the area, agents want to remind residents that hurricane season still lasts for a couple more months. So, even if we are missed by this storm, there is a chance we may not be as lucky the next time.

If you need to add coverage, contact your agent after the storm passes.

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