When severe weather strikes, will insurance kick in?

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - First the rain and severe weather, then piles and piles of snow, that's what left Jennifer Anthony's carport sitting in her driveway, instead of covering it up!

"You can still see all the snow, I mean can you imagine all that being on top of there and trying to stay up, says Anthony as she showed us the damage.

Thankfully, Anthony's car wasn't beneath it, but she says initially, she had no idea what was happening.

"Sounded like a big tree falling down and I just knew something had hit the house and I was about to get rained on," Anthony says.

While the carport and driveway are still in the same condition, even snow covered a bit Monday afternoon, Anthony immediately made plans for repair.

"I took pictures for insurance and then I filed an insurance claim and now I have people coming out to give me estimates to fix it," she says.

State Farm Insurance Agent Connie Wilkes says those pictures are a good idea.

"It just helps prove and show exactly what's affected by that," says Wilkes.

Plus, Wilkes says there are other steps consumers should take if they've been affected by the recent storms or snow.

First, she says, do what you can to prevent any further damage.

For example, flooding must meet specific FEMA requirements, but in the meantime, if your home has suffered water damage," "The longer the water sits, the more damage it does, it absorbs into the sheetrock, it tears the padding of your carpet away, it can cause a lot of extra damage the longer it sits," adds Wilkes.

Wilkes says customers are sometimes compensated for doing some of that work ahead of time.

Next, she says pull out your policy, but most importantly, get in touch with your agent.

"If you have a question about whether or not something's covered, it's good idea just to go ahead and call your agent because company to company, the language of those policies can be very different."