Tag Archives: flood insurance

Wind Versus Water Causing Insurance Payment Delays? The Sad Song Remains The Same For Michael Victims as In Other Storms

The Tampa Bay Times ran an excellent story, Hurricane Michael Destroyed Their Homes Then The Insurance Heartache Began, which tells a sad but familiar theme about insurance company denials and delayed payments following hurricane losses. I was quoted in the piece: Chip Merlin, a Tampa insurance lawyer, said the same conflict happened in the last … Continue Reading

Partial Flood Proofs of Loss Requesting Only Items In Dispute Are Losers In Flood Claims

Flood insurance claims governed by the National Flood Insurance Program are different. The requirements to get paid are strict and must be complied with. Many inexperienced attorneys and public adjusters prepare these claims improperly and the result is that policyholders do not get paid or paid as much as they otherwise deserve. Federal proofs of … Continue Reading

Flood Insurance for Commercial Properties

After every major flood event, I am contacted by at least one business owner and/or condominium owner who suffered flood damage, filed their claim with their NFIP1 Flood Insurance Company (Allstate, Hartford, Wright Flood, Farmers, FEMA, etc.), and was then told by either the flood insurance company or adjuster that the flood insurance policy did … Continue Reading

NFIP’S Horseshoe Option

When a National Flood Insurance Program (“NFIP”) insured is not satisfied with the payment for flood-related losses, the NFIP insured is directed to three options:1 The NFIP insured may file an appeal with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”) within 60 days of the NFIP insurer’s written denial or partial denial of the requested claim … Continue Reading

Public Adjusters Beware That Non-Compliance with Federal Regulation “Signed and Sworn” Proof of Loss Requirement Will Preclude Recovery of Damages

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 … Continue Reading

How Does a Flood Insurance Claim Work? Tips to Get Your Florence Flood Claim Quickly Paid

Flood insurance claims are different than regular property insurance claims because virtually all flood insurance claims have to follow federal regulations. The vast majority of all flood insurance policies are written through the National Flood Program. Even if a private company known as a Write Your Own (WYO) is listed as the insurer on the … Continue Reading

Hurricane Florence – What Does My Flood Insurance Policy Cover?

Florence battered the Carolina Coast with 90mph winds when it made landfall near Wilmington, North Carolina on September 14, 2018. Florence downgraded to a tropical storm Friday evening and is now crawling across South Carolina at a drastically slow rate of approximately 5mph. The Carolinas are now facing the devastating effects of catastrophic storm surge, … Continue Reading

Free Flood Insurance Webinar

David Stearnett, who is the Flood Insurance Advocate for the National Flood Insurance Program, and Sha Ron James, Florida’s Insurance Consumer Advocate, should be congratulated for hosting a free webinar on July 25: Guiding and Educating Insurance Professionals and Consumers about Flood Insurance Needs During a Catastrophe.… Continue Reading

Condominium Associations Must Purchase Flood Insurance

Many state statutes and condominium bylaws require the purchase of reasonably available property insurance which covers all direct physical risks of loss on an extended and replacement cost basis. One issue I have heard associations and their insurance agents ask: “Is flood insurance reasonably available” so that it has to be insured.… Continue Reading

Merlin Law Group Asks FEMA to Extend the Proof of Loss Deadline for Victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria

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 … Continue Reading

FEMA Implements Enhancements to NFIP Claims Process

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.… Continue Reading

Policy Exclusions Must Be Narrowly Applied to Assure Policyholders Receive All Benefits Available

In a recent post, Policyholders May Benefit From All Their Coverages, I discussed the importance of carefully evaluating all the insurance benefits potentially available to policyholders if a catastrophic loss occurs. That blog examined the decision in Citizens Property Insurance Corp. v. Hamilton,1 which allowed recovery of benefits for a total loss due to flood … Continue Reading

Hurricane Harvey FEMA Claims vs. Inverse Condemnation Claims: Do You Know Your Recovery Rights? (Part III)

Hurricane Harvey flooding affected 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 discusses the differences in property ownership rights and two separate avenues to recovery.… Continue Reading

Policyholders May Benefit From All Their Coverages

Following the devastating damages from Hurricanes Harvey, Maria, and Irma, homeowners and businesses alike examined their insurance coverages to assist their recovery. For most people that have never needed to use insurance benefits, or had only small claims, these policies may have seemed like just another large expense every year that mostly protected the bank … Continue Reading

Hurricane Harvey FEMA Claims vs. Inverse Condemnation Claims: Do You Know Your Recovery Rights? (Part II)

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 … Continue Reading
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