Hurricane Idalia Flood Claims – Now Comes Proof of Loss with NFIP Flood Policies
Policyholders who were impacted by Hurricane Idalia flooding will soon be faced with fully complying with the terms and conditions of their flood policies. One of those tasks is the filing a Proof of Loss (POL), which to the layman can be as complex as building a house with no construction experience. Not surprisingly, our Florida public adjusters are already fielding calls with questions from confused policyholders.
The policies issued by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) are unique because they fall under a Federal Government program with its own rules and regulations. Keep in mind that many private insurance companies resell and administer the NFIP policies. So, make sure you confirm if your flood policy falls under this program. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is part of FEMA, requires you to file a document called a Proof of Loss within 60 days of the flood detailing everything you are claiming. FEMA frequently extends the deadline given the severity of the damage. The extension allows policyholders who have supplemental claims or who have had repairs delayed due to code issues or other situations to gather the proper documentation to substantiate their flood claim. Be on the lookout for that notice. Please do not procrastinate, however, since the sooner you get your claim in the sooner it will be reviewed. We saw many with Ian and Irma claims wait until the last minute and the NFIP can actually deny your claim if you cannot meet their deadline. Properly filing the claim is another hurdle. So if you have a large loss or are confused by the process, you may wish to seek the services of a professional public adjuster who is trained and well versed in the process.
For those not in the claim adjusting business, pulling together a properly prepared proof of loss can be a complicated matter, especially given FEMA’s strict standards. It requires paid receipts and invoices for completed repairs, itemized room by room costs, contractor estimates, photos of damage and repairs and any other supporting documentation. Add to that the bureaucratic delays, claim denials, miscommunications, lost files and I can go on and on and you can understand why some have said the easy part was simply surviving the storm, and the hardest part recovering from their respective insurance companies. And remember, the POL is a sworn and signed statement. So, you better get it right.
The mix of water and wind damage also will create issues. The steps property owners take to comply with their insurance policies in regards to their individual property and flood claims can have a significant impact on how much they will receive and under what policy the loss will be covered. It’s not always easy, but the time you take to follow your insurance policy guidelines and ensure your repairs are completed properly, will be well worth it in the long run. While you can’t control when a flood will occur, you can control how well you recover. Keeping accurate records, document everything in writing and with photos and keep all receipts and itemized lists.
If you have questions regarding Hurricane Idalia flood or water related property insurance claims visit our website or contact us to submit a question to one of our public adjuster insurance claim experts.