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Arkansas Flooding Prompts Flood Insurance Claims, What to Expect During Process

Release date: 
June 15, 2019
Release Number: 
DR-4441-AR NR 003


Arkansas Flooding Prompts Flood Insurance Claims, What to Expect During Process

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas residents with flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program are beginning to make claims on their flood-damaged properties and should be aware of what to expect during the claims process. Statewide, there have been over 230 flood insurance claims since April 1, 2019, with the highest concentration in Sebastian County. Policy holders should follow these steps.

Pre-flood measures:
• For NFIP policyholders taking pre-flood measures, up to $1,000 in reasonable expenses may be covered to protect your insured property. Keep all receipts and record the time spent performing the work to submit to the insurance adjuster when you file your claim. For more information, view: Understanding Flood Loss Avoidance.

Immediately following flood damage:
• Contact your insurance agent to report your loss.
• Depending on the severity of the event, an insurance adjuster will contact you within a few days of starting your claim.
• Ask the adjustor if you are eligible for an advance payment to help you start recovering.

When it is safe to return to your home or business:
• Be aware, you may need a permit for cleaning up/rebuilding. Contact the local building office for rebuilding requirements for your area.
• Wear protective gear.
• Take photos and/or videos of the outside and inside of the property.                                                                   
• Label damaged personal property before removing anything. 
• Remove your ¬flood-damaged items, but keep samples of items like fl¬ooring and curtains for your adjuster’s inspection where the type and quality of material may impact the amount payable on the claim.
• Immediately throw away fl¬ood-damaged contents that pose a health risk (like perishable food and pillows), after photographing them.
• Follow the EPA’s guidelines for safely removing all mold. NFIP will not cover mold damage if policyholders fail to take action to prevent the growth and spread of mold. For more information, view: Guidelines for Flood Clean Up for NFIP Policyholders. 


Visiting with your adjustor:
• Ask your adjustor to provide you a Proof of Loss form. You must submit a completed and signed Proof of Loss with all supporting documentation to your insurance company within 60 days of the loss.
• Your adjuster will contact you to make an appointment to visit your damaged property.
• When your adjuster visits, he/she will show you an official identification card.                                                        
• Don't pay a fee to any third party to file your claim.
• To help ensure you receive a claim payment that re¬flects your flood loss and is within your policy limit, ask your insurance company about any important deadlines you need to meet.
• After your insurance adjuster inspects your property, you will receive a package from the NFIP with your insurance adjuster’s report and a check made out to you and/or your mortgage company.
• Carefully review the report before depositing the check.

Flood Claim Appeals
• FEMA’s goal is to ensure all policyholders receive the amount they are owed for their claim(s) under the terms of their policy.
• If you believe your policy provides more coverage than you received payment for, ask your adjustor or insurer to clarify.
• If you receive a denial letter from your insurer for all or part of your claim, you can file a written appeal, including the denial letter and supporting documentation, within 60 days of the date written on the denial letter. Email your appeal to
FEMA-NFIP-Appeals@fema.dhs.gov.
• There is no fee to file an appeal and you do not need a third party to represent you.

For more detailed policyholder tips and steps, view the NFIP Flood Insurance Claims Handbook.

Purchasing flood insurance is one of the most important steps residents can take to protect the lives they’ve built. Just one inch of water in a home can cause more than $25,000 in damage. Most homeowners and renters policies do not cover flood damage. Call your insurance agent to get a quote.  Call 1-800-427-4661 or visit www.floodsmart.gov. Don’t delay. Policies typically take up to 30 days to go into effect.

 

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Last Updated: 
June 15, 2019 - 17:50