Did you know that floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States? If you live in a flood plain, or have simply fallen victim to this season’s tremendous rain fall, this information is probably not at all surprising. While flooding is incredibly common, that doesn’t change the fact that dealing with the aftermath is a nightmare. After a flood, many homeowners find themselves wondering, “what now?” Well, we’re here to help; we’ll show you what steps to take after your home floods, and how to file a flood insurance claim.
Immediately after experiencing a flood, contact your insurance agent, or company, to file a claim. Within a few days of contact, an adjuster should be in contact. However, if you do not hear from your adjuster, contact your insurance agent, or company, once again to confirm your claim is in process. When contacting your flood insurance provider, make things a bit easier on yourself by having the following items handy:
If possible, carefully begin sorting and separating damaged property from undamaged property. Since your insurance adjuster will require evidence of damage to your home and possessions to prepare your estimate, you’ll speed up the process by doing this before you’re formally asked. In order to properly, and accurately, assess your flood damage in a way that is satisfactory to your insurance adjuster, you’ll need to do the following:
After personally assessing your flood damage, your insurance adjuster will provide you with a Proof of Loss form for the official damage claim. Once you’ve been provided the form, it is your responsibility to file the claim within 60 days. The Proof of Loss form substantiates your insurance claim, and is required to be submitted before the National Flood Insurance Program or insurance company can make a payment.
After you and your insurer agree on the amount of damages, and you’ve provided your insurance company with an accurate, complete, and signed Proof of Loss form, you’ll receive your claim payment. While all insurance providers strive to process claims and issue payment as quickly as possible, major catastrophic floods could slow the process.
If you don’t have flood insurance on your home, we highly suggest getting it; contact your homeowner insurance provider to discuss costs, risk levels in your area, and benefits. On that same note, consider investing in a fire and water resistant storage device to store copies of your insurance policy, receipts, and other important documents. Take these steps today, to avoid a stressful situation tomorrow.