Proofs of Loss for National Flood Insurance claims are always an issue. It is important to file all proofs of loss, even supplemental claimed amounts, properly and timely or face the possibility of no additional payment.
Hurricane Matthew flood policyholders and those representing them must carefully and timely complete proofs of loss. Even if there is an initial proof of loss filed based on the national flood adjuster’s estimate, if more is going to be claimed, a proof of loss for the additional amount must be completely and timely submitted.
This warning about timely submittal of proofs of loss is demonstrated in Ravasio v. Fidelity National Property.1 The court’s ruling is clear:
The fact that the Plaintiffs did previously file a Proof of Loss claim did not relieve them of their statutory and contractual obligation to file a Supplemental Proof of Loss for the amounts they now seek to recover. “[A] signed and sworn proof of loss ‘claims only the amounts listed in those forms, and the insured must timely file an additional proof of loss to claim any additional amount of money.’ ” Dickson v. Am. Bankers Ins. Co. of Florida, 739 F.3d 397, 399 (8th Cir.2014)…. Although the Plaintiffs filed a Proof of Loss for their undisputed claims, they never filed a Proof of Loss related to the amounts they now seek to recover here.
The public adjuster retained by the policyholder failed to file the supplemental amounts claimed until after the last deadline for filing proofs of loss had expired. It may seem to be a very harsh result because there is no requirement of a finding of prejudice and many damages are often unknown until repairs are underway, but it is the current state of the law.