Not enough insurance? FEMA may be able to help

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Release date: 
May 27, 2014
Release Number: 
027

Little Rock, Ark. – As residents rebuild their lives and their homes, representatives of the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are encouraging all people in Faulkner, Pulaski, Randolph and White counties who suffered damages as a result of the tornadoes and severe storms to file with their insurance companies and to register with FEMA.

“Disaster survivors should always file a claim with their insurance company first,” said State Coordinating Officer David Maxwell of ADEM. “But they should also register with FEMA because sometimes FEMA’s Individual Assistance covers damages that insurance does not.”

“You may be uninsured or under-insured for certain expenses or losses,” said FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Timothy J. Scranton. “By law, we can’t pay for damages that are covered by insurance, but there may be other ways we can help you.”

One month after the tornadoes tore through central Arkansas on April 27, more than 1,300 residents of Faulkner, Pulaski, Randolph and White counties have applied for Individual Assistance.  

If any of the following situations occurs after you file an insurance claim, FEMA may be able to provide some assistance:

  • Your insurance settlement is delayed. Delayed means a decision on your insurance settlement has been delayed longer than 30 days from the time you filed the claim. If a decision on your insurance settlement has been delayed, write a letter to FEMA explaining the circumstance. You should include documentation from the insurance company proving that you filed the claim. If you filed your claim over the telephone, you should include the claim number, date you applied, and an estimate of how long it will take to receive your settlement. Any help awarded to you by FEMA would be considered an advance and would have to be repaid to FEMA once an insurance settlement is received.
  • Your insurance settlement is insufficient to meet your disaster-related needs. If you have received the maximum settlement from your insurance and still have an unmet disaster-related need, write a letter to FEMA indicating the nature of the need and including documentation from your insurance company for review.
  • You have exhausted the Additional Living Expenses (ALE) provided by your insurance company. If you have received the maximum settlement from your insurance for Additional Living Expenses (Loss of Use) and still need help with your disaster-related temporary housing needs, write a letter to FEMA indicating why you continue to have a temporary housing need. You will also need to provide documentation to prove use of ALE from insurance, and a permanent housing plan.

Contact FEMA at this address with additional information:

FEMA
National Processing Service Center
PO Box 10055
Hyattsville, MD 20782-8055
FAX 1-800-827-8112

Many people who apply for FEMA disaster aid also receive an application for a low-interest disaster assistance loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration to help homeowners, renters and businesses repair or replace damaged property. If you receive an application, be sure to fill it out and return it in order to be considered for all forms of disaster assistance.

The deadline to register for FEMA Individual Assistance is June 30, 2014.

Tornado survivors can register by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for the speech- or hearing-impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week until further notice. Multilingual registration assistance is available at both numbers. Survivors may also apply online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov.  By smartphone or tablet, use m.fema.gov.

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 Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status.  If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.

Last Updated: 
May 27, 2014 - 15:50
State/Tribal Government or Region: 
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