In the event of a flood where you experienced a loss, ensure you fully document the damage by taking pictures and videos of the flood damage before removing the water or making any repairs. Also, keep samples of damaged equipment to make it possible to access their quality and type. Document serial numbers and keep all receipts. After this, promptly submit a written “Notice of Loss” to the NFIP or your insurance company. You may also contact your insurance agent to file it for you if you have one. You will then be required to complete, sign and submit a Proof of Loss Form (Form 086-0-9) within 60 days. Make sure that you have everything that needs to be repaired or replaced tallied up and valued within the 60-day limit because your claim will be denied if you do not meet the filing deadline. Finally, review the “Declarations Page” on the complete and current copies of your flood insurance policies and check the coverages and limitations to ensure the recorded damage is covered.
If you need help finding an insurance agent or carrier to help process your insurance claim, call the NFIP at (877) 336-2627, but ensure you ask them about advance payments. The Proof of Loss may be waived for claims under $7,500, but only if you get express written consent from your adjuster or their superiors at FEMA for any waiver of the Proof of Loss requirement.
Note that flood insurance policies do not cover damage from mold, so start cleaning and documenting damages immediately after a flood to prevent the growth and spread of mold, which may lead to further damage. In addition, mold damage will only be covered if an authorized official has banned entrance to the flooded area for safety precautions. Mold damage may also be covered if floodwaters remain around the home or in the area, hindering the policyholder’s ability to inspect and maintain the insured property.
After you file a claim with your flood insurance company, the company will begin processing the claim. They will also inspect your house through a NFIP registered and certified adjuster. The adjuster will take measurements and photos of the flood damage during the site visit. They will discuss the terms of your policy coverage, timelines, and the next steps you need to take. In addition, the adjuster will provide you with a detailed estimate of the flood damage.
After this, you will receive a package from the NFIP with your insurance adjuster’s report and a check made out to you or your mortgage company. Make sure to review the report carefully before depositing the check.
Typically, after you have filed a claim and your insurance company has reviewed the claim, they will make a check payment to compensate you for your loss and restore your home to the state it was before the flood damage.
A flood insurance company is obligated to pay claims for its policyholders when the need arises. However, suppose the insurance company can prove that the water damage does not fulfill the specific definition and indicators of flood damage. In that case, they have the right to deny the claim.
You must file a written “Notice of Loss” to the NFIP promptly after a loss. You may contact your insurance agent to file it for you. After filing your flood insurance claim, you must fill out, sign, and submit a Proof of Loss form within 60 days.
In Texas, flood insurance companies have a maximum of 15 days from the date the claim was filed to investigate the claim pursuant to Section 542.056 of the Texas Legislation. The law requires an insurance company to reply to an applicant's claim with an approval or denial within 15 days of receiving the claims and other things required to examine the claim. However, your insurance company may often extend the time limit to 45 days if necessary, but they will need to provide you with sufficient reason(s) for the extension.
Suppose a flood occurs and damages the electrical appliances in your house, and unfortunately, you only have building coverage under your flood insurance policy. In that case, you will not be qualified to file a flood insurance claim. This is because the flood insurance policy you purchased only covers damages to the physical structure of your building. Likewise, if you only have contents coverage and the physical structure of your building is destroyed by flood, you will be unable to file a claim.
If you have a high deductible on your flood insurance policy and the total flood damage incurred after a flood is lower or equal to your deductible, you will not need to file a claim. For instance, Mr. Pat’s house gets flooded, and the damage incurred amounts to $1,500, but Mr. Pat has a $2,000 deductible. Filing a flood insurance claim is not necessary in this case since the deductible will conveniently repair the damage incurred.