Aid May Be Available to Repair or Replace Vehicles Damaged by Wildfires

SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. — Disaster survivors whose vehicles were damaged or destroyed by the Sevier County wildfires of Nov. 28 to Dec. 9, 2016 may be eligible to receive federal assistance to repair or replace those vehicles.  

“Those who may be eligible include not just residents of Sevier County, but also those who were working in or visiting Sevier County between Nov. 28 and Dec. 9 and had disaster-related damage to their vehicles,” said Federal Coordinating Officer W. Michael Moore, who is in charge of FEMA’s operations in Tennessee.

 The following conditions apply to assistance for a damaged or destroyed vehicle:

• The damaged vehicle must have complied with applicable state laws regarding title, vehicle registration and insurance requirements at the time of the damage.

• Only those who maintain at least liability insurance will be considered to receive federal disaster assistance to repair or replace their vehicles. Liability coverage is the minimum insurance requirement for Tennessee drivers.

• Survivors who have a comprehensive policy should first file a claim with their insurance company. Comprehensive policies usually pay for fire damage to a vehicle. However, federal disaster assistance may help fill the gap for those whose comprehensive insurance coverage does not pay for any or all fire-related damage costs.

• Survivors must submit an itemized document showing damage to the vehicles was fire-related, in addition to a receipt, estimate or verifiable bill of the repair or replacement costs.

Survivors whose vehicles were damaged or destroyed by the Sevier County wildfires are encouraged to apply with FEMA for disaster assistance. Here are the ways to register:

• Online at DisasterAssistance.gov (also in Spanish)

Download the FEMA mobile app (also in Spanish)

• Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 (FEMA). Persons who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY may call 800-462-7585. Toll-free numbers are open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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