Filing Insurance Claims
Homeowner’s insurance usually covers losses caused by wind, storm, or broken water pipes, but not surface flooding. If you have flood insurance, contact your insurance adjuster immediately and follow these steps:
- Take photos or videotape the damage to both the inside and outside of the building and the contents.
- Separate your damaged and undamaged belongings and store them for the adjuster to examine.
- Find receipts, canceled checks, or proofs of purchase for high cost items such as major appliances, if possible. The adjuster will need the manufacturer’s name; serial and model numbers; price; location and date of purchase; and a description of the items.
- What is typically most helpful to the adjuster is a spreadsheet of lost or damaged items that details: item description, age, original cost (if you have receipts), and a link to a comparable item (on Amazon or similar).
- Begin cleanup and drying as soon as possible.
- Clean the house so the adjuster can see the damage.
- Keep damaged materials for proof of loss.
- Leave a phone number where you can be reached when the adjuster arrives.
- The adjuster will assess damages to the house. The owner should sign a proof of loss statement.
- Additional damage can be added when found.
- If you have questions about what is covered and what isn’t, contact your insurance company for a copy of your policy. NFIP info here.
If your mortgage holder is listed on your insurance policy, you cannot cash your insurance claim check without their approval. Before you decide on repairing and floodproofing, make sure that your loan will not be affected. The mortgage holder may be able to provide financial help, such as deferring interest payments for a month or two.
If your claim is denied
If you receive a denial for all OR part of your flood insurance claim, you have several options. The first thing you can do is talk to your insurance company to see if they have overlooked something or made a mistake.
Beyond that, you can file an appeal with FEMA at no cost within 60 days of the denial. Details on what to include and where to send your appeal are here. You may also file a lawsuit or get an appraisal (details also at link).