Do these things before reporting Hurricane Matthew damage to insurance company

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VIRGINIA — If your car or residence was damaged in Hurricane Matthew, as soon as safe to do so, contact your agent or insurance company to get the recovery process started.

The insurance agency State Farm said that by Wednesday, Oct. 11, they had received 1,870 homeowner claims and 1,330 auto claims in Virginia from those with damage after Hurricane Matthew.

State Farm offered tips to those who suffered damage in the storm.

Drivers with water/flood damaged vehicles are encouraged to follow below insurance tips:
• DO NOT start a flooded vehicle until it has received a thorough inspection by a qualified mechanic.
• Record the highest level of water exposure on your flooded vehicle.
• Contact your agent or insurance company and advise them that your vehicle has been flooded. The sooner the vehicle can be evaluated and dried out, the less damage the vehicle will sustain. Have your vehicle title and registration available when meeting with your agent or claim representative.
• If necessary, have the vehicle towed or make temporary repairs, saving all receipts. Record the name, phone number and location of the towing facility.
• It is easy to see how floodwater damages a car’s upholstery and carpeting, but it is difficult to see where the most severe damage occurs – under the hood or behind the dash. A car’s engine, transmission, and electrical components are some of its parts that are most vulnerable to flood water.

Follow the below initial tips for handling damage around your home and property:
• As soon as safe, begin to make temporary repairs to prevent further damage to your home or property. Keep a record of time spent and all receipts for work done on your property.
• If you have water damage, contact your insurance agent for guidance.
• Take pictures/video of the damaged property. Keep notes and use inventory lists to help adjusters assess the damages.
• Remove tree debris from the structure and place it on the ground.
• Secure replacement costs/estimates from local retailers, and obtain statements from vendors on items that cannot be repaired. Be careful before signing anything without fully reading the documents, and contact insurance company first.

State Farm policyholders are asked to call their agent or 1-(800)-SF-CLAIM (1-800-732-5246) in order to report damage.