RALEIGH, N.C. -- Hurricane Irene survivors with flood insurance claims in North Carolina have until Nov. 23 to file Proof of Loss with the insurance company that issued them a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Standard Flood Insurance Policy.
Proof of Loss, which must be signed and sworn to, is the official claim for flood damages under an NFIP policy. After a flood, property owners contact their insurance agent, report the damaged property and meet with an adjuster. Within 60 days of the event that caused the damage the Proof of Loss must be received by the insurance company. The Proof of Loss must include a detailed estimate and other supporting documentation to replace or repair the flood-damaged property. The deadline for submitting Proof of Loss for North Carolina flood insurance claims from Irene was extended an additional 30 days.
The adjuster may, as a courtesy, provide a suggested Proof of Loss but the property owner is responsible for making sure that it is complete, accurate and filed in a timely manner. Flood insurance is a separate policy from homeowners insurance and requires an inspection from a different adjuster.
Survivors with questions or concerns about flood insurance claims may call a toll-free hotline for
The deadline for filing NFIP Proof of Loss is Nov. 24, but that date is Thanksgiving and most insurance offices will be closed. The National Flood Insurance Program advises policy holders to ensure that their signed and sworn Proof of Loss, with supporting documentation, is received in the insurance carrier’s office by Nov. 23, to avoid missing the deadline. Submitting the Proof of Loss to an insurance agent instead of the insurance company, or putting it in the mail on the deadline, will not meet the Proof of Loss requirement.
At the time Hurricane Irene struck Aug. 27, there were 113,784 NFIP policies in effect in the
38 counties designated in the disaster declaration. As of Nov. 1, the National Flood Insurance Program reported 9,000 claims had been filed. The program is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, working with insurance companies.
Policy holders are given a copy of the Flood Insurance Claims Handbook (FEMA Publication F-687). The handbook explains the process of filing and appealing claims. It is available online at: www.floodsmart.gov/toolkits/flood/downloads/NFIP-FloodInsuranceClaimsHandbook.pdf.
After the Proof of Loss is submitted, if the property owner notices additional damage the owner may file a supplemental Proof of Loss, documenting the newly discovered damage, as long as it is within the 90-day time period allowed by the extension granted by FEMA. If new damages are discovered and a claim for additional damages is presented after the 90 days, the insured must request a waiver of the time limitation from FEMA in order to submit the claim.
If a property owner disagrees with the insurance company’s final determination of the claim, the owner may appeal. The owner should:
- Talk with the adjuster.
- If not satisfied, talk with the adjuster’s supervisor.
- If still not satisfied, contact the insurance company’s claim representative.
- After taking those steps, the owner may contact FEMA by writing:
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Federal Insurance Administrator
1800 South Bell St.
Arlington, VA 20598-3010
Those who have sustained disaster-related damage should register with FEMA. The deadline for registration is Nov. 30. ...