In July, 2016, what has been called a 200-to-500 year thunderstorm dropped between five and seven inches of rain in a two-hour period in Princeton, New Jersey. The heavy rain fall resulted in water pooling at the bottom of a stairwell below street level, next to a salon’s glass door entrance.
Continue Reading Even If You Don’t Live in a Flood Prone Area, You May Want a Flood Risk Policy in Place

I recently wrote about the short-term extension that halted the potential expiration of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) set for November 30, 2018. Following that post, the NFIP was extended by Congress until December 21, 2018, and a lapse was averted.
Continue Reading NFIP Authorization Extended Until May 31, 2019, But Flood Program Could Be Disrupted By Government Shutdown

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 not cover all of the buildings or structures on the property. The business owners are enraged because they were under the impression that all buildings on the property were covered.
Continue Reading Flood Insurance for Commercial Properties

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

  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 amount.2
  2. The NFIP insured can invoke the Appraisal Provision of her policy. NOTE: The NFIP insured may not file option one above, the appeal with FEMA, if the Appraisal Provision is invoked.
  3. The NFIP insured may file a lawsuit within one year of the date of the written denial of all or part of the NFIP insured’s claim. NOTE: The filing of a lawsuit precludes option one, the appeal, and option two, the appraisal process, as those are considered pre-litigation administrative remedies.
    Continue Reading NFIP’S Horseshoe Option

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

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 first pages of the policy, these insurers are merely participants in the National Flood Program and the ultimate payments do not come from them but out of the United States Treasury.
Continue Reading How Does a Flood Insurance Claim Work? Tips to Get Your Florence Flood Claim Quickly Paid

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, flash flooding, and prolonged river flooding. Some parts of North Carolina are already inundated with over thirty inches of rain.
Continue Reading Hurricane Florence – What Does My Flood Insurance Policy Cover?

Many Texans will lose their right to additional flood insurance money that they’re entitled to – this situation is urgent. The most important deadline for Texans with Hurricane Harvey flood damage is quickly approaching – it’s only one month away on the anniversary of Harvey – and Texans largely have no clue.
Continue Reading Hurricane Harvey Critical Flood Deadline in One Month – Texans Have Not Been Made Aware!