COLUMBIA Insurance companies have adjusters ready to assess damage should Tropical Storm Hanna strike South Carolina's coast.

As of this morning, most insurance companies and agents have stopped binding coverage for homeowners' insurance along the South Carolina coastal areas impacted by the hurricane watch. Consumers can still purchase wind and hail insurance as well as flood insurance, but wind and hail insurance has a fifteen-day waiting period. Flood insurance carries a thirty-day waiting period.

"It's too late to get insurance coverage in place prior to Hanna arriving in South Carolina. However, this can be a wake-up call to review your insurance and consider purchasing additional coverage for future storms such as Hurricane Ike," said Allison Dean Love, Executive Director of the South Carolina Insurance News Service.

The South Carolina Insurance News Service offers these tips for residents before and after the storm:

-- Locate insurance policies, name and telephone number of insurance agent and take this information with you.

-- Take a home inventory. This can be as simple as making a list of personal belongings, taking pictures or using a video camera to document your property. Free home inventory software is available on our website.

-- Protect property before the storm by covering windows and glass doors with plywood. Secure outdoor furniture.

-- If damage occurs, protect property from additional damage by covering the roof and windows as soon as possible.

-- Survey any damages before contacting insurance agent or company.

-- Survey the damage and notify your insurance agent or company of any losses and leave word where you can be contacted if you are not at home.

-- Make any temporary repairs necessary to protect property from further damage. Keep all receipts for material used.

-- Do not dispose of damaged personal property until an adjuster has had the opportunity to look at it.

-- Photographs or video tape documentation of damaged property is helpful.

-- If flooding has occurred, you should disconnect all electronic equipment and electrical appliances and move them to a dry place.

For more information on settling insurance claims after a disaster, take a look at our web site at scinsnews.com or contact the South Carolina Insurance News Service at 803-252-3455.

Insurance Claims Phone Numbers

To facilitate timely processing of claims arising from Tropical Storm/Hurricane Hanna, the South Carolina Insurance News Service is providing the following list of contact phone numbers for home insurers:

AequiCap Insurance Company: 954-493-6565

Allstate Insurance: 1-800-54-STORM (1-800-547-8676)

Builders Mutual Insurance Company: 1-800-809-4861

Companion Property & Casualty Insurance: 1-800-845-2724, option 2 fax: 803-419-8063

GEICO: 1-800-841-3000

General Casualty Insurance Company: 1-800-334-0241

GMAC Insurance: 1-800-468-3466

Grange Insurance: 1-800-445-3030

Harleysville Insurance: 1-800-892-8877

Johnson & Johnson Inc.: 1-800-487-7565 Ext. 3029

Nationwide Insurance: 1-800-421-3535

Progressive Insurance: 1-800-274-4499

PURE Homeowners Insurance: 1-888-813-PURE (7873) fax: 914-328-3883 e-mail: claims@purehnw.com

SC Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co.: 1-800-799-7500

SC Wind & Hail Underwriting Association: 1-800-236-1873

Catawba Insurance Co.: 1-800-525-8835

Southern Mutual Insurance Company: 1-800-226-1919

Southern Mutual Church Insurance: 1-800-922-5332

State Farm: Contact your agent or 1-800-SF-CLAIM

State Auto Insurance: 1-800-766-1853 e-mail: claims@stateauto.com

USAA: 1-800-531-8222

Universal Insurance Holdings of North America: 866-999-0898

Utica National Insurance Group: 1-800-274-1914 ext. 2772 fax: 315-266-4121