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Consumer alert: Costly storm recovery, what will insurance cover?

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Several Frayser families visited Union Grove Baptist Church Friday to pick up essential supplies like water and ice.

Many of them are going on a week without power.

"It's been very hard, very rough and a very disgusting time," said Patricia Brooks.

Marvis Rogers says it's been worse for one of their Victoria Park neighbors who's on oxygen.

"They are having to live in a hotel and paying $100 a day and when the generator runs out in that hotel, I think they've been to three different hotels."

Sandra Carter says she's fortunate, but dealing with the aftermath of the storm has been costly in more ways than one.

"Batteries, ice, eating out."

Lots of people are wondering whether their homeowner's or renters insurance will cover the expenses they've incurred like hotels, eating at restaurants and even throwing out spoiled food.

Misti Hardrick-Carral runs Affordable Insurance Agency, Inc. in Frayser. She an independent agent who writes policies for several companies, but mainly Progressive.

She says first, people should file claims for damage to their home.

If debris fell onto a car, that's covered through auto insurance.

There are also some situations where trees from a neighbor's yard have fallen onto a person's property.

"It really should fall on the neighbor since it's their tree, but however, if that person doesn't have insurance or coverage that person can still use their insurance automatically."

As for things like meals and replacing spoiled food, Hardrick-Carral says that can also be covered.

"They basically advised if it's a loss of food, the hotel stay, whatever it is, still file the claim," said Hardrick-Carral about advice from adjusters.

The same is true for renters insurance, Hardrick-Carral must still meet their deductible.

"Whatever you're spending your money on towards because of the storm situation, just keep up with receipts."

Hardrick-Carral says during some disaster responses, insurance companies will partner with nonprofits to provide additional assistance and services not covered by insurance, which provides an even greater reason for people to contact their agent.

Those without insurance can also reach out to churches and nonprofits for additional assistance.