How Long do I have to File a Flood Insurance Claim?
When Hurricane Michael hit Florida and the U.S. coast, it brought with it rising flood waters, causing severe damage to homes and other buildings. Many people are still trying to recover from this disaster, including getting coverage for the necessary repairs from flood damage. Many people are likely wondering - how long do I have to file a flood insurance claim?
Unlike traditional home insurance claims, flood insurance is purchased separately from FEMA under the National Flood Insurance Policy (NFIP). This type of policy has strict deadlines that differ from regular insurance claims, and it is essential that you do not miss a deadline.
Proof of Loss
Your first step in any flood insurance claim is to provide notice that you suffered flood damage. This notice should be provided right away after the disaster. Then, you must provide a “Proof of Loss” claim to NFIP within 60 days of the damage. The Proof of Loss is a sworn written statement that substantiates the damage incurred and the losses claimed. It is important to request proof of mailing so you can prove to NFIP that you mailed the Proof of Loss statement on time.
If you miss the 60-day deadline, you may be found to be noncompliant with your flood policy requirements, and may not qualify for coverage. In limited circumstances, you may get an extension for the Proof of Loss, and some companies may set different deadlines, but never assume that you have longer than 60 days. Instead, speak with a flood insurance attorney immediately.
Do Not Delay
Filing your claim requires the following steps, and you should not delay in getting started:
● Contact your insurance company, give them your policy number, contact information, and notice that you suffered a loss due to flooding. The NFIP help center can assist you with the name and contact information of your insurer.
● File your proof of loss with the insurance company. No matter which company covers you, it will require prompt notice of your losses, and you should submit the written proof of loss.
● Do not discard any damaged property before your insurance adjuster examines it, unless you are told it is okay to discard it or the property is a health hazard. In this case, take pictures of everything before you throw it away.
● Inventory your damaged property and create a detailed list. This list should include the type of item, quantity, description, brand or model, serial numbers, and how much a replacement will cost. Attach receipts, bills, and/or photos to support your inventory.
● List and photograph structural damage from flooding and ensure your adjuster examines them.
Contact Our Panama City Flood Insurance Claim Lawyers Right Away
Flood damage claims can be complicated, and you only have a short time to take action. The team at Ged Lawyers, LLP, helps Hurricane Michael victims with successful insurance claims, so please call 850-684-4000 or contact us online today.