Recently, FEMA announced that North Carolina residents who are non-U.S. citizens and survivors of Hurricane Matthew can apply for disaster assistance if they have a social security number or permanent resident card (green card) or if a minor child who lives in the household has a Social Security number.
Individuals affected by Hurricane Matthew have many issues to deal with while they try to rebuild their lives. And while victims deal with the stress of rebuilding, it is important that they do not miss crucial deadlines, such as applying for federal assistance from FEMA.
At the Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (FAPIA) Fall Conference last week, I was speaking with a public adjuster about the impeding 60-day deadline for his clients to submit their signed, sworn, proofs of loss for Hurricane Matthew flood claims. For public adjusters who have not handled many flood claims in the past, this can seem like an overwhelming process, considering the strict requirements for NFIP claims.
If you or your clients have suffered a flood loss, it is critical that the proof of loss is properly filled out and promptly submitted. In recent seminars, Chip Merlin has addressed Hurricane Matthew damages caused by both wind and flood. In the seminars he specifically details how handling flood losses differ greatly from handling wind or other property damages losses.
Insurance companies routinely have instructions for their claims adjusters on how to adjust various types of losses. State Farm has some of the most detailed claims guidelines in the industry. I have often stated that for first-party claims, relevant claims guidelines should also be provided to the policyholders who suffer losses. Why not?
Proofs of Loss for National Flood Insurance claims are always an issue. It is important to file all proofs of loss, even supplemental claimed amounts, properly and timely or face the possibility of no additional payment.
Hurricane Matthew left hundreds of thousands of people without power and with wind-related damages in Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas. Thousands of policyholders promptly notified their insurance carriers of damage to their home or business, but many policyholders do not have a complete copy of their insurance policy.
In a bulletin issued on October 26, 2016, FEMA extended the deadline by thirty days for policyholders with Hurricane Hermine flood claims to file their completed, signed, and sworn to proof of loss. The Standard Flood Insurance Policy requires policyholders to file their completed, signed, and sworn proof of loss within 60 days from the date of loss, however, with this limited waiver, the deadline is now 90 days from the date of loss. Hurricane Hermine caused widespread flooding in Florida commencing on August 31, 2016 through September 9, 2016.
Many commercial property owners and investors hit by Hurricane Matthew may insure multiple buildings under one policy. Depending on the insurance coverage form, one or multiple deductibles may apply. I was thinking about this while reading a recent case indicating that multiple deductibles applied.1
If your property was damaged by Hurricane Matthew, hopefully you already have a copy of the insurance policies for your property. As part of preparedness for catastrophes such as Hurricane Matthew, we urge our readers to make sure they have a copy of their policies. If you do not have a copy of the insurance policies for your property, this blog is for you. It is crucial that you request as soon as possible a complete and certified copy of your policy, including all declarations, endorsements, riders and/or changes to the policy which would affect coverage at the time of the loss.