October 20, 2015 1:40 am
If your property has been heavily damaged during severe weather, filing an insurance claim should be first on your list of post-storm to-dos. According to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.), when filing a homeowners or auto insurance claim, the first step is to call your insurance professional as soon as possible to start the claims process. If the storm caused you to relocate, let your company know where you are currently residing and how best to reach you.
Flood damage to either a residence or business is covered by policies provided by FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), as well as a few private insurance companies. Keep in mind that standard homeowners, renters and business insurance policies do not cover flood damage. The optional comprehensive portion of an auto insurance policy covers flood-related damage.
When filing your flood insurance claim:
1. Locate the insurance company name and your policy number before calling your insurance professional.
2. Provide a list of damaged property to help your adjuster prepare a loss estimate. This includes a written inventory along with receipts, bills and photos, if possible.
3. Check with your adjuster before discarding flood-damaged items. If local authorities require disposal of these items for health or safety reasons, photograph them first for your records.
4. Understand that flood claim payment checks from your insurance company are often made payable to both you and your mortgage lender.
5. Make sure you understand what forms need to be filled out and when.
Homeowners, renters and businesses who sustained flood damage but were not covered by an NFIP policy may be eligible for state and federal assistance.
Published with permission from RISMedia.