About two months ago, Winter Storm Uri left millions of Texans stranded in the cold without water, electricity, or heat. This tragic and historic event arrived abruptly, but it left lingering effects for many. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) declared this event as a major disaster. Thousands of homeowners and renters incurred property damage or other storm-related costs. FEMA offered assistance to 126 of the 254 counties1 in Texas with an application deadline of April 20, 2021. However, the application deadline has now been extended to May 20, 2021.
Continue Reading FEMA Extends Application Deadline for Texas February Winter Storm Assistance

In Northgate Country Club Management, LLC v. Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company,1 the Honorable Sim Lake, Senior Judge for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, reaffirmed this past week the critical rule that in a FEMA flood case, the requirement for a policyholder to file a proof of loss cannot be waived even by a carrier that participates in a claim. With the hurricane and tropical season upon us along the Gulf Coast, a reminder of this mandatory rule is relevant.
Continue Reading Can the Proof of Loss Requirement Be Waived in a Flood Case?

If you’ve read my recap from Day 1 of the National Flood Conference, you’ll know that there was a lot to discuss from Day 1. Days 2 & 3 were a bit less eventful, and largely more geared towards flood insurance agents and lenders. As with Day 1, there were often several courses running concurrently, so the below is my recap of those that I attended.
Continue Reading National Flood Conference – An Insider’s Perspective, Days 2 & 3

This year I’ve been privileged with the opportunity to attend the 2019 National Flood Conference in Washington D.C. The National Flood Conference is a three-day annual event for flood insurance industry professionals, and various other professionals whose industries overlap in some way with flood insurance (think mortgage lenders, insurance agents, mold remediators, attorneys, etc.). Over the course of the next few days I will provide day-by-day recaps of my experience at the National Flood Conference with my thoughts, opinions, and interesting things I’ve learned.
Continue Reading National Flood Conference – An Insider’s Perspective of Day 1

It’s been almost seven years since Superstorm Sandy hit New Jersey and Sandy cases are still wending through New Jersey Courts. A recent Third Circuit Court of Appeals decision discusses the importance of a properly completed proof of loss when submitting a flood claim under a Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP).1
Continue Reading Flood Proof of Loss Filled Correctly? Do not lose benefits by failing to list amount claimed

In my last two posts I wrote about the threatened expiration of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and stop-gap legislation that averted the lapse. NFIP’s authorization to operate is now extended to May 31, 2019. Despite the reauthorization legislation, FEMA announced it would halt NFIP’s authority to issue new and renewal flood policies until the full government reopens, citing the partial shut-down and lapse in appropriations.
Continue Reading FEMA Backtracks, Advises That Partial Federal Government Shutdown Will Not Disrupt Flood Insurance Program

In a recent case,1 a federal court dismissed a flood claim following a nor’easter storm because the insureds’ proof of loss under the National Flood Insurance Act failed to satisfy the Standard Flood Insurance Policy’s (“SFIP”) “signed and sworn” requirement.2 In that case, the insureds submitted two claims to recover damages from the storm to their insurance company. The first claim of approximately $2,000 was completed on a form provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”). Both insureds signed and dated the document, which stated, “I declare under penalty of perjury that the information contained in the foregoing is true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief.” Shortly thereafter, the insurance company issued a check to the insureds for the covered building damages.
Continue Reading Public Adjusters Beware That Non-Compliance with Federal Regulation “Signed and Sworn” Proof of Loss Requirement Will Preclude Recovery of Damages

Last month the Assistant Administrator for Insurance, Paul Huang, extended the deadline for submitting a Proof of Loss for flood insurance claims. The Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP) provides that a proof of loss must be submitted within 60 days of the loss. However, FEMA Bulletin W-18026 waived the 60-day proof of loss deadline, extending the deadline to submit a proof of loss to 365 days (one year) from the date of loss:
Continue Reading Hurricane Michael Flood Proof of Loss Extension