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Insurance regulator estimates Matthew claims at $90 million
hurricane damage
Winds twisted the brackets holding an awning over gas pumps at a Highway 196 gas station during the storm. - photo by Photo by Lawrence Dorsey

ATLANTA — With more than 30,000 claims reported, Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens has estimated that insured losses in the state from Hurricane Matthew reached $90 million by Wednesday.

"Our preliminary estimate today is $90 million in damage across Georgia. That figure may rise as new claims are submitted," Hudgens said.

Residents who need assistance can contact the Georgia Department of Insurance at 1-800-656-2298, if they have questions about a policy, or if they are experiencing difficulty reaching their insurance company. Phone lines are open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Property owners with damaged property can take the following steps to begin the claims-filing process:

• Contact your insurance agent immediately if you have had damage to either your house or car; do not delay. Your agent should provide you with claims forms and arrange for an insurance adjuster to visit your property or look at your automobile.

• Hail damage to your car is typically covered by the comprehensive/collision portion of your automobile insurance policy; hail damage to your home — your roof, for example — is covered by your homeowners policy.

• Secure your property. For example, if your roof was damaged or blown off, or a tree has punctured the roof, cover the affected area with a tarp or plywood to protect your property from further damage. Keep receipts of materials used for repairs; your insurance company will reimburse you for repair costs.

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