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Hurricane Matthew: Filing a Flood Insurance Claim

Hurricane Matthew: Filing a Flood Insurance Claim

If you have experienced a flood as a result of Hurricane Matthew, according to FEMA’s website, you can file your flood insurance claim by following these three steps.

STEP ONE: NOTIFY YOUR INSURER TO START THE CLAIMS PROCESS

After experiencing a flood, contact your agent or insurance company to file a claim. 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

An adjuster should contact you within a few days of filing your claim. If you do not hear from an adjuster, please contact your insurance agent or company again. Find your company’s toll-free phone number: http://www.nfipiservice.com/Claims_TollFree/Toll-Free%20Number%20by%20WYO.pdf

STEP TWO: DOCUMENT THE DAMAGE

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: COMPLETE A PROOF OF LOSS TO SUPPORT YOUR CLAIM

The adjuster the insurance company assigns you will assist you in preparing a Proof of Loss (which is your sworn statement of the amount you are claiming including necessary supporting documentation) for your official claim for damages. You’ll need to file your Proof of Loss with your insurance company within 60 days of the flood (unless it is extended, which is common during mass catastrophe events). 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.  If you disagree with the insurance adjuster about the value of the loss, it is the responsibility of the policyholder to complete and submit a Proof of Loss for the full amount, along with supporting documentation.

About the Author: Christopher W. Gerold is an attorney in Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi’s (“CSG”) Disaster Recovery Claims Group. Chris represents homeowners, condominium associations and businesses with their insurance claims with a special focus on flood insurance.  For more information on flood insurance and ways CSG can help you with your flood insurance claim, please contact Chris at (973) 530-2061.