Director:
Kim Robertson
Send E-Mail
Physical Address:
Law Enforcement Center
120 S. Third Street
Smithfield, NC 27577
 
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 530
Smithfield, NC 27577
 
Phone: 919-989-5050
Fax: 919-989-5052
Loss Prevention Tips

 The following should be taken by every home owner before a disaster to assure a speedy, hassle-free recovery after a loss:

Home Coverage and Preparedness Tips

  • Check with your insurance agent to assure adequate coverage is provided by your homeowners' insurance policy. Remember to notify agents of any improvements or additions to the home.
  • If your homeowners' insurance policy does not have wind/hail coverage, you will need to purchase separate coverage, which has a 15-day waiting period. Consult your insurance agent.
  • Check with your insurance agent to determine if you need flood insurance. Flood insurance is not part of most homeowners', mobile home or rental insurance policies. You will need to purchase separate coverage, which has a 30-day waiting period.
  • Investigate purchasing replacement-cost coverage for your home and its contents. This option provides for the rebuilding or replacement of damaged property and belongings at current costs, rather than depreciated values.
  • Check your policy for "loss of use" coverage. If you are required to seek temporary shelter due to a covered loss, such as a tornado, many policies will cover these expenses up to a certain amount. If your home is in uninhabitable because of physical damage, most homeowners' policies will pay additional living expenses while your property is being repaired. Lack of power and water is not considered physical damage and therefore, additional living expenses will not be covered.
  • Consider constructing an underground or in-home shelter.

A Home Inventory Will Assist in Settling Claims

  • Consider constructing an underground or in-home shelter.
  • It is important that you videotape, photograph or compile a written inventory of your home and belongings.
  • Keep the inventory off-premises in a safety deposit box or with an out-of-the area contact. The inventory will provide a record for you and the insurance company should a loss occur.
  • Go though each room of your home and list every item, including the purchase date, price, model and serial numbers, if applicable. Don't forget closets, the garage and the basement.
  • Include the appraised value of antiques, jewelry and other costly possessions. Attach professional, written appraisals when necessary.
  • Slowly pan the camera around the room in order to capture each item on film.
  • Obtain close-ups of expensive items, such as jewelry, fine art, antiques, stamp collections, etc.
  • Consider grouping items for easier inventory.
  • Narrate the video by noting purchase cost and date, model and serial numbers on appliances and other appropriate items.
  • Update your inventory every two-to-three years.

Automobile Coverage and Preparedness Tips

  • If damaged by windstorms or hail, most vehicles are protected under the "other than collision" (comprehensive) portion of an automobile insurance policy.  Check with your insurance agent to be certain of your automobile coverage.
  • If severe weather threatens, move your vehicles to covered area to prevent damage from high winds, flying debris and hail.

After the Loss Insurance Tips

  • Contact your insurance agent or company representative as soon 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 cost of repairs.
  • Use reliable, licensed contractors for repairs. Do not pay in cash.