One certain way FEMA and National Flood Administrators get out of paying otherwise valid flood insurance claims is to require strict and timely requirements. Citing an internally generated and fraudulent 99% closure statistic, the National Flood Program denied a request to extend the timeline for filing Proofs of Loss for Hurricane Harvey, Irma, and Maria victims.
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As advocates for victims whose lives have been turned upside down as a result of the devastating flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, and Hurricane Maria, we know that one year may not be enough time for flood victims to obtain the estimates and documents necessary to submit their required proof of loss form to FEMA or their flood insurance company.
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In a June 7, 2018, FEMA bulletin, W-18013, FEMA discusses several claims process enhancements and claims handling reminders that apply to all claims with a date of loss of June 7, 2018 through December 31, 2018. The enhancements to the NFIP’s claim process are in response to the widespread flooding that occurred in 2017.
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Hurricane Harvey flooding impacted Texas property owners (i) with sufficient flood insurance to cover the loss, (ii) with insufficient flood insurance to cover the loss, and (iii) without flood insurance. This three-part series outlines the differences in the rights of these property owners and the different avenues to recovery. My previous post was Hurricane Harvey FEMA Claims vs. Inverse Condemnation Claims: Do You Know Your Recovery Rights? (Part I), where I discussed one avenue of recovery for property owners with flood insurance under the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968. This post focuses on a wholly separate recovery avenue for property owners with or without flood insurance under the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
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The Hurricane Harvey floods in Texas impacted property owners (i) with sufficient flood insurance to cover the loss, (ii) with insufficient flood insurance to cover the loss, and (iii) without flood insurance all together. The different avenues of recovery and the rights of the different property owners are important issues to understand.
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Hurricane Harvey brought unprecedented flooding and destruction to Texas. Three churches have sued the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) seeking the ability to be awarded disaster relief grants available to other non-profit entities. In Harvest Family Church v. FEMA, three Texas churches damaged by Harvey are taking on a FEMA policy that does not allow them to receive FEMA money simply because they are religious houses of worship.
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The deadline to apply for Hurricane Harvey FEMA/SBA disaster assistance is quickly approaching. The application filing deadline for physical damage as a result of Hurricane Harvey has been extended 30 days and is now November 24, 2017. FEMA can provide up to $33,000 in assistance to qualified applicants. Those homeowners and business owners who require more assistance, may be eligible for a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan, but must first apply for FEMA Disaster Assistance.
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