NEW YORK – Property owners who sustained flood damages and are insured by policies underwritten by the Federal Emergency Management Agency are strongly urged to file claims immediately.
“The faster the claim is filed, the sooner the settlement process can begin,” said David Passey of FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program. “Individuals start the claim process by calling their insurance agent or company.”
The policyholder should provide the name of the issuing agent or company, the policy number and a phone number or email address where he or she can be reached, Passey said. After filing a claim, an adjuster will contact the policyholder within a few days to schedule an appointment for the initial inspection.
A “Proof of Loss” statement is required, which includes the detailed estimates of the cost to repair or replace damaged property. In most cases, the adjuster will provide a suggested Proof of Loss, but the ultimate responsibility for making sure the document is complete, accurate and filed on time is with the policyholder.
Should further damage be discovered after the adjuster has made an inspection, policyholders can file a supplemental claim.
“It is a good idea to separate damaged items from those that are OK,” Passey said. “And if possible, take lots of photographs of water in the property and things that are damaged. In case you are required to dispose of certain things, the photos will provide a record of what was ruined and removed.”
FEMA National Flood Insurance Program representatives can be reached at 800-427-4661 should policyholders have questions that cannot be answered by agents. More information is available at www.floodsmart.gov.