Closely Monitor the Insurance Claims Process: Flood Insurance Questions and Information
By Space Coast Daily // September 8, 2017
must file a 'Notice of Flood Loss' promptly
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – If you have damage caused by Florida’s recent hurricanes, State of Florida officials encourages you to closely monitor the insurance claims process after reporting your loss.
Florida residents with a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policy must file a “Notice of Flood Loss” with their flood insurance company promptly.
All policyholders with a flood loss are also required to submit a “Proof of Loss” directly to the flood insurance company, within 60 days after the date of the flood loss.
Here are some tips to guide you through the flood insurance claims process to ensure you receive all eligible insurance funds for your recovery.
What to Do Before an Adjuster Visits
Take pictures of the damage.
Write down a list of your damaged contents.
Immediately dispose of flood-damaged items which pose a health risk, such as perishable food items, clothing, cushions and pillows. Cut off and keep a 12-square-inch sample of building materials like carpets and drywall to show your flood adjuster, and set aside other damaged personal property items like furniture, televisions and electronics.
Have documents related to your damage ready for inspection. This may include contractor’s estimates and repair receipts.
Also keep your policy number and insurance company information handy.
What Happens During an Adjuster’s Visit
An insurance adjuster will contact you within 24 to 48 hours to schedule an appointment.
Ask to see the adjuster’s official identification when he or she visits.
The adjuster will take measurements and photographs and document your damage. They will provide you with their contact information and, if required, the adjuster may revisit your property.
After your home is inspected, the adjuster will complete the covered estimate of loss and provide you with a copy of it, along with a Proof of Loss form.
A FEMA inspector or flood insurance adjuster will never ask for money, approve or disapprove claims, or tell you whether your flood insurance company will approve your claim.
What Happens After an Adjuster’s Visit
The adjuster will collect all of the necessary information and documentation during the initial visit and will contact the policyholder as the claim progresses to an agreement and closure.
If you disagree with the resolution of your claim, ask the adjuster to show how they arrived at the figure(s) and explain the policy if an item was excluded from coverage, even though you feel it should be covered.
If the adjuster and insured are unable to come to an amicable agreement, the policyholder may hire an independent contractor to prepare an estimate for flood related damage.
Within 60 days after the loss, send the insurer a signed and sworn to proof of loss.
If you disagree with the resolution of your claim, you can submit your proof of loss for the undisputed amount and you may also appeal the amount contested to FEMA as stated in the Flood Insurance Claims Handbook.
If your Flood insurance coverage is provided by an insurance company from the voluntary market and you have a claim dispute, please call our toll-free Insurance Consumer Helpline at 1-877-693-5236.
One of our insurance experts will be happy to contact your insurance company on your behalf to assist in resolving your claim. You may also consider participating in our Mediation Program to seek resolution. Additional information about our Mediation Program can be obtained here.
If your Flood insurance coverage is provided by the National Flood Insurance Program either directly or through a “Write Your Own Company” and you have a claim dispute, you must follow FEMA’s claim dispute process outlined in their Flood Insurance Claims Handbook.
Flood insurance Tips
Verify Before You Buy! Contact us to verify the license of the agent and the insurance company before you sign an application for a policy.
Prepare a Home Inventory Checklist! A home inventory along with photos and proof of ownership will make it easier to file an accurate, detailed flood insurance claim in case your home is damaged or destroyed. When you have a loss, it is your responsibility to know what property you have, when it was purchased, how much you paid for it and how much it will cost to replace it. You should also keep receipts for large purchases or keep your credit card statements. You may be asked to prove that you owned the item in question. It is always a good idea to take pictures or videos of your property as well.
Keep a copy of your important documents in another location! In the event your home is totally destroyed, you would have copies of all of your important documents including receipts you may need to settle a claim with your flood insurance company.
Don’t delay in purchasing your flood insurance policy. With only a couple of exceptions, there is a 30-day waiting period for coverage to start with the National Flood Insurance Program. The waiting period may not apply to coverage purchased in the voluntary market.
If you plan to build your home, you may want to speak with your agent to determine what flood zone the new property is located in. The location of the property is used to determine how much you will pay for flood insurance.
Visit www.Floodsmart.gov to obtain additional information about flood insurance provided by the National Flood Insurance Program. Contact your Homeowner’s Insurance Company to obtain additional information about flood insurance provided by the voluntary market.