Anywhere it rains, it can flood. In fact, 20% of flood claims come from places where flood risk is low [Click to Tweet!]. A flood can be caused by hurricanes, overflowing levees, outdated or clogged drain systems, and rapid accumulation of rainfall. Flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States, causing $3.5 billion in losses between 2005 and 2014, according to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a government-sponsored organization that provides flood insurance to homeowners.
If you've had the misfortune of experiencing flood damage, here is how to start the road to recovery (assuming you have the appropriate flood insurance in place):
1. Notify your insurer to start the claim process
After experiencing flood damage, contact your agent or insurance company to file a claim. Make sure you have the following information handy:
The name of your insurance company
Your policy number
A telephone and/or email address where you can be reached at all times
An adjuster should contact you within a few days of filing your claim. If you do not hear back from an adjuster, continue to follow-up with your insurance agent or company until someone contacts you.
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2. Document the damage
Go through your home and separate damaged from undamaged property. Your adjuster will need evidence of the damage to your home and possessions to prepare your repair estimate.
Take photographs of all of the damaged property, including discarded objects, structural damage, and standing floodwater levels.
Make a list of damaged or lost items and include their date of purchase, value, and copies of receipts, if possible.
Officials may require disposal of damaged items so, if possible, place flooded items outside of your home.
3. Complete a Proof of Loss to support your claim
Your adjuster will assist you in preparing a Proof of Loss—your sworn statement of the amount of damage you are claiming, including necessary supporting documentation—for your official claim for damages. A Proof of Loss can be many things, but must contain the specific details set forth in the Standard Flood Insurance Policy. You'll need to file your Proof of Loss with your insurance company within 60 days of the flood. This document substantiates the insurance claim and is required before the insurance company can make payment.
You'll receive your claim payment after you and your insurer agree on the amount of damages and the insurer has your complete, accurate, and signed Proof of Loss. If major catastrophic flooding occurs, it may take longer to process claims and make payments because of the sheer number of claims submitted.
No one wants to experience the stress or trauma of flood damage, but the important thing to remember is that as long as you and your family are safe, most "things" can be replaced by your flood insurance coverage.
If you're interested in obtaining flood insurance quote, call us today at 866-913-5180.
If you've experienced flooding in the past and have any tips or comments you'd like to share, leave us a comment by filling out the form below!