In the immortal words of Jim Morrison, “The time to hesitate is through. No time to wallow in the mire.”1 In case anyone else was wondering (because I was), a mire is defined in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as:

  1. wet spongy earth;
  2. heavy often deep mud or slush; and
  3. a troublesome or intractable situation.

Each definition is applicable to the situation that many of my local brethren find themselves in at this very moment. First and second, wet ground and mud are something these folks are very familiar with; their homes and businesses soaked through and filled with water, mud, sand, and muck. Their lawns, gardens, back yards, and pools destroyed, drenched, and overflowing with debris. The New Jersey coastline has been mired since Hurricane Sandy hit and many people are still suffering and wading through insurance issues.

The third definition I find equally relatable. Many of these people are in a very troublesome situation for various reasons including, but certainly not limited to: being improperly or under insured; not being compensated for their loss; not being able to return to their home; or having their home or business completely destroyed.

FEMA announced on October 1, 2013 that it was extending its deadline to file Sandy related proofs-of-loss to April 28, 2014. In their press release, FEMA stated:

[t]he Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP) allows homeowners … to file proof-of-loss claims.[]

A Proof of Loss is a form used by the policyholder to support the amount they are claiming under their policy, which must then be signed and sworn to, and submitted with supporting documentation. The policy covers structures and any personal property contained within that was damaged or destroyed by floodwaters.

This latest extension will give policyholders more time to gather the necessary paperwork, fully document their losses and account for any additional expenses that were discovered after repairs or rebuilding projects began.2

While the situation many people are facing is troublesome, it is not necessarily intractable or unfixable. This date is rapidly approaching, and in order to secure your ability to file a flood loss claim, you must submit you proofs-of-loss no later than April 28, 2014. Your proof-of-loss must be submitted to the proper agency or insurance company:

Any policyholder whose SFIP was issued by a Write Your Own program-participating insurance company should contact his insurance adjustor or the carrier directly to find out the proper address for submitting the Proof of Loss with supporting documentation.

If the policy was issued by FEMA directly through the Direct Servicing Agent, send Proof of Loss and supporting documentation by regular mail to: NFIP Direct Servicing Agent, P.O. Box 2966, Shawnee Mission, KS 66201-1366. Or send by overnight mail to: NFIP Direct Servicing Agent, 7701 College Blvd., Suite 150, Overland Park, KS 66210.3

Time is running out to file your Superstorm Sandy Proof-of-Loss.

Don’t wallow in the mire.

1 “Light My Fire” by The Doors (April 1967).