Columbia, SC (WLTX) -With all the snow and ice that have decended on the Midlands, it has made some things a 'winter mess'.

The South Carolina Department of Insurance is ready to help if your property has been damaged because of this severe weather.

Here are a few tips:

• Contact your insurance agent or company as soon as possible. Your agent or company should provide you with insurance claims forms, toll-free claims office numbers and assist you in making arrangements for an adjuster to visit your property or to look at your vehicle.

• Secure your property and make temporary repairs to damaged property to protect it from further damage. Be careful when inspecting your property as fallen debris can be hazardous.

• Be sure to keep all receipts for materials used for repairs.

You can call the Consumer Services Division at 803-737-6180 or toll free in South Carolina 1-800-768-3467 if you have any questions about a claim or are having difficulty contacting your insurance agent or company.

Consumer analysts are available to take your call Monday-Thursday from 8AM-6PM and Friday 8:30AM-5PM.

For people living in the greater Charleston area, you can contact the Charleston office by calling 1-843-577-3415, Monday-Friday 8:30Am-5PM.

You can also email, address is

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