The Mississippi river flooded the Midwest in December 2015 and January 2016 and it is among the costliest wintertime flood events in US history.1 It is estimated that the damage will be over $1 billion.2 In the St. Louis area, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon said that 7,100 buildings and a half-ton of debris must be removed.3 At least 25 deaths have occurred from this flood.4
If you have a SFIP (Standard Flood Insurance Policy), there are some very important deadlines to keep in mind. These deadlines can be extended by FEMA, but they have not been extended for this flood as of yet.
Article VII of the SFIP states in part:5
In case of a flood loss to insured property, you must:
. . . .
4. Within 60 days after the loss, send us a proof of loss, which is your statement of the amount you are claiming under the policy, signed and sworn to by you, and which furnishes us with the following information:
a. The date and time of loss;
b. A brief explanation of how the loss happened;
c. Your interest (for example, “owner”) and the interest, if any, of others in the damaged property;
d. Details of any other insurance that may cover the loss;
e. Changes in title or occupancy of the covered property during the term of the policy;
f. Specifications of damaged buildings and detailed repair estimates;
g. Names of mortgagees or anyone else having a lien, charge, or claim against the insured property;
h. Details about who occupied any insured building at the time of loss and for what purpose; and
i. The inventory of damaged personal property. . . .
If you need assistance with a flood claim, please contact a knowledgeable attorney or public adjuster in order to be sure that your claim is filed timely and correctly.
1 Doyle Rice, USA Today.
2 Doyle Rice, USA Today quoting the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
3 The Associated Press, Jefferson City, Missouri.
5 44 C.F.R. pt. 61, app.A(1) art. VII(J) (emphasis added).