NORTH CAROLINA, (WVEC) -- Was your vehicle damaged or destroyed during Hurricane Matthew? If so, you may be eligible for help repairing, or replacing your vehicle, from the state.

The first step that anyone should take when looking into this, is to check their auto insurance policy, or contact their insurance agent.

Car owners may also be eligible for federal assistance if they are within one of the 27 eastern and central North Carolina counties currently eligible.

Owners must follow these conditions in order to apply for assistance:

  • The damaged vehicle must have complied with state laws, such as title, registration, and insurance requirements at the time of the damage.
  • Owners must have at least liability insurance to be considered for the federal disaster assistance. Liability insurance is a minimum insurance requirement in the state of North Carolina. When applying owners must have proof of insurance.
  • Owners who have a comprehensive policy should first file a claim with their own insurance company. Most comprehensive plans will pay for damages, but the federal disaster assistance program may be able to help fill in the gaps for plans that don't cover all storm related damages.
  • Owners will need to return a completed U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster-loan application. Homeowners and renters may be able to borrow up to $40,000 to repair or replace personal property, including vehicles.
  • FEMA grants to repair or replace a vehicle must clear the SBA disaster loan process. Grants do not need to be repaid.
  • An itemized document showing the car damage was due to the storm and receipt, estimate or verifiable bill of the repair or replacement cost must be submitted.

Federal disaster assistance will only be available to those whose car was damaged during Hurricane Matthew, beginning on Oct. 4.

The 27 counties that are eligible for federal disaster assistance include:

  • 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
  • Wilson

If you have any questions understanding the insurance claims process, please visit the N.C. Department of Insurance's website at

If you would like to register for assistance you may visit, download the FEMA mobile app, or call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).