Friday, September 2, 2011

How To File A Flood Insurance Claim

Irene's path up the Eastern coast of the U.S. has done major damage and left many people with flooded homes. Even in communities that never experienced flooding this bad before, have damage. The New England states have reported flooding in places where there has never been any. If your home is flooded, what should you do next? According to the National Flood Insurance Program's website Floodsmart.gov you can file your flood insurance claim by following these three steps:

STEP ONE:
After experiencing a flood, contact your agent or insurance company to file a claim. An adjuster should contact you within a few days of filing your claim. If you do not hear from an adjuster, you can contact your insurance agent or company again. Make sure you have the following information handy:


  • The name of your insurance company
  • Your policy number
  • A telephone and/or email address where you can be reached at all times


STEP TWO:
Separate damaged from undamaged property. Your adjuster will need evidence of the damage to your home and possessions to prepare your repair estimate.


  • Take photographs of all of the damaged property, including discarded objects, structural damage, and standing floodwater levels.
  • Make a list of damaged or lost items and include their date of purchase, value, and receipts, if possible.
  • Officials may require disposal of damaged items so, if possible, place flooded items outside of the home.


STEP THREE:
Your adjuster will provide you a Proof of Loss form for your official claim for damages. You'll need to file this claim with your insurance company within 60 days of the flood. This document substantiates the insurance claim and is required before the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or insurance company can make payment.

You'll receive your claim payment after you and the insurer agree on the amount of damages and the insurer has your complete, accurate, and signed Proof of Loss form. If major catastrophic flooding occurs, it may take longer to process claims and make payments because of the sheer number of claims submitted.



Flood insurance has become as important as standard homeowners insurance. As the residents of New Orleans found out the hard way.



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