LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — If your home or property was damaged or destroyed by the storm, what’s next?

How do you recoup your losses and rebuild?

First off, file a claim and make sure you give them updated contact information since you may not be in your home. Less than 15 percent of homeowners have flood insurance.  It’s separate from your regular policy. Homeowner’s insurance does not cover flooding or mud flows.

If you don’t have it, your only recourse is grants and low-cost loans from the federal government.

The department of insurance says you may be able to get your homeowner’s insurance to cover it, if you can prove that the recent fires caused the mud flow. In order to do that, you will need a forensic engineering report to prove it, so it could take some time. Take photos and videos of all damage. Itemize your belongings and see if you have photos of items before they were damaged. Gather any receipts and do not throw any damaged items out. Document all phone calls.

If your car was destroyed or damaged,comprehensive coverage will cover that. And as for flood insurance there is a 30-day waiting period, so even if those living in the Thomas Fire burn area purchased it right away, they’d likely still be in that waiting period. If you don’t agree with what your insurance company is telling you about coverage, you do have recourse.

You can contact the California Department of Insurance and file a request for assistance.

And if you’re struggling to pay your mortgage through all this, you can talk to your bank. Many of them will allow you to delay monthly payments in a disaster zone for a period of time without penalty.

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