TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Oct. 21, 2016 – “If you have damage caused by Florida’s recent hurricanes, state and federal officials encourage you to closely monitor the insurance claims process after reporting your loss,” the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) advises.
Florida residents with a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policy must file a “Notice of Flood Loss” with their flood insurance company directly to the flood insurance company within 60 days after the date of the flood loss. They’re also required to submit a “Proof of Loss.”
Tips for navigating the flood insurance claims process
Before an adjuster visits
Take pictures of the damage.
Make a list of damaged contents.
Immediately dispose of flood-damaged items that 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 the damage ready for inspection, which may include contractor’s estimates and repair receipts.
Keep policy number and insurance company information handy.
During an adjuster’s visit
An insurance adjuster should 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 to document the damage. They will provide their contact information and, if required, may revisit the property.
After a home is inspected, the adjuster will complete the covered estimate of loss and provide you with a copy, 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 a homeowner if the claim will be approved.
After an adjuster’s visit
The adjuster will contact the policyholder as the claim progresses to an agreement and closure.
If a homeowner disagrees with the claim resolution, he or she should ask the adjuster to show how they arrived at the figure and, if an item was excluded from coverage, explain why.
If the adjuster and insured are unable to come to an amicable agreement, the policyholder may hire an independent contractor to prepare an estimate of flood-related damage.
Within 60 days after the loss, send the insurer a signed and sworn to proof of loss.
If you disagreed with the resolution, homeowners can submit their proof of loss for the undisputed amount but also appeal the contested amount to FEMA as stated in the Flood Insurance Claims Handbook.
For specifics on the NFIP Flood Claim Process, visit FEMA’s website.
© 2016 Florida Realtors®
Source: Florida Realtors Feed