If you or your clients have suffered a flood loss, it is critical that the proof of loss is properly filled out and promptly submitted. In recent seminars, Chip Merlin has addressed Hurricane Matthew damages caused by both wind and flood. In the seminars he specifically details how handling flood losses differ greatly from handling wind or other property damages losses.
FEMA.org is a resource that should be consulted to check for official bulletins and to apply for disaster assistance. FEMA’s website also provides the proper form for the proof of loss.
In order to save you time, you can sign up at FEMA.org to receive automatic email updates on various topics.
With just a few clicks, you can customize what you receive from FEMA. This can be very helpful for insureds and public adjusters.
The FEMA website outlines a three step process for the Hurricane Matthew flood cases. When it comes to the proof of loss, FEMA says the NFIP adjuster will help you with the proof of loss form, but the NFIP guidelines imply that the adjuster does not have to help you with information for the proof of loss form and states that the adjuster’s assistance is only a courtesy. This inconsistency, coupled with what we learned in Super Storm Sandy about the flood evaluations, should encourage you to really advocate for yourself and consider hiring your own public adjuster to help you with valuations and documentation since you know the NFIP adjuster’s allegiance is not to you.
If you are wondering about the documents that the adjuster has for a flood loss, you can review them in the flood portal.
If your property was damaged by wind, or damaged by wind and flood, you will have to make sure you also comply with the requirements of your policy that covers your wind damage.
The wind carriers are hoping that policyholders’ hurricane deductible calculations dissuade them from claiming damages caused by the 2016 hurricanes. Some reports indicate that the carriers are not being forthright or properly reviewing the damages caused by the covered perils in order to argue that the claim dollars are lower than the deductible.
You can check out our prior posts on deductibles.
In addition to getting an email update from FEMA, you can also receive daily emails from this Merlin Law Group blog. Any updates on Hurricane Matthew will be delivered to your inbox.