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Friday, 11 November 2016 22:49

What to Do If Your Car Was Damaged in Hurricane Matthew

Written by WECT Staff

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - People who had their automobiles damaged or destroyed by the flooding caused by Hurricane Matthew may be eligible for assistance in repairing or replacing their vehicles, according to the NC State Emergency Response Team.

Owners should first check their automobile insurance policy or contact their insurance agent to see if the damage is covered.


They also may be eligible for federal assistance.


According to the NC State Emergency Response Team, in order to be eligible for FEMA assistance, the following conditions apply:


-The damaged vehicle must have complied with applicable state laws regarding title, vehicle registration and insurance requirements at the time of the damage.


-Only those who maintain at least liability insurance will be considered to receive federal disaster assistance to repair or replace their vehicles. Liability coverage is the minimum insurance requirement for North Carolina drivers. Liability insurance policies do not cover storm-related damage. Survivors who register must submit proof to FEMA that they maintain liability coverage to be considered for federal disaster assistance to repair or replace their vehicles.


-Vehicle owners who have a comprehensive policy should first file a claim with their insurance company. Comprehensive policies usually pay for storm-related damage to a car. However, federal disaster assistance may help fill the gaps for those whose comprehensive insurance coverage does not pay for any or all storm-related damage costs.


-Vehicle owners need to return a completed U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loan application. After registering with FEMA, the SBA may contact survivors concerning disaster loan applications. It’s important for vehicle owners to submit their application. Homeowners and renters may be eligible to borrow up to $40,000 to repair or replace personal property, including automobiles damaged or destroyed in the disaster.


-FEMA grants to repair or replace a vehicle must clear the SBA disaster loan process. Vehicle owners may receive a grant from FEMA to repair or replace their car if insurance is insufficient and they were declined for an SBA home loan. Grants do not need to be repaid.


-Vehicle owners must submit an itemized document showing the car damage was storm-related and a receipt, estimate or verifiable bill of the repair or replacement costs. Federal disaster assistance is available to people only if their cars had damage as a result of Hurricane Matthew, beginning on Oct. 4.


The 27 counties eligible for individual assistance in the federal disaster declaration are: Beaufort, Bertie, Bladen, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Dare, Duplin, Edgecombe, Gates, Greene, Harnett, Hoke, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lenoir, Martin, Nash, Pender, Pitt, Robeson, Sampson, Tyrrell, Washington, Wayne and Wilson.


We would like to thank WECT for reprint permission.

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