Flood Claims with FEMA or Private Insurance Providers

If you have flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), and you suffered property damage from Hurricanes Irma or Maria, you need to be aware of the enhanced claims process. Under this streamlined process, you can receive up to $5,000 in advanced payments even before an adjuster comes to inspect your damage. The application process is simple: just contact your insurance provider, verify your identity, and FEMA will issue your payment. Be aware, that by accepting the payment, you are verifying your property was flooded and understand that the advanced payment will be deducted from your final settlement amount.

If your flood damage was extensive, you can apply for up to $20,000 in advanced payments, however you will be required to submit video or photographs of the damage, out of pocket expense receipts, or an itemized estimate of the repair and rebuilding costs from your contractor as evidence of the damage. If you are paying a mortgage on the property, the advanced payment will be made payable to you and your mortgage company.

Disaster Assistance Through FEMA

If your business property is not covered under the NFIP or private insurance provider, you can register for disaster assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA). You can register for assistance online if you have internet access, by calling 800-621-3362 if phone service has been restored to your area, or you can visit a local Disaster Recovery Center. FEMA has extended the deadline for disaster relief for 120 days from the date of the storm. If you qualify for federal assistance, you may be eligible for money for temporary housing, medical expenses, and funeral costs. The Small Business Administration is also offering low-interest business loans for disaster victims.

Filing Damage Claims with Private Insurers

If your insurance policy covers wind, storm, or hurricane damage you can file a damage claim immediately. Some insurance providers may prioritize claims based on how severe the damage sustained, while other providers will process claims in the order they are received. No matter how your claim is processed, the earlier you file, the sooner you can begin to recover and rebuild. Check your policy for any filing deadlines and deadlines for dispute resolution should your provider not treat you fairly.

If you need help at any point in the claims process, know that we are here for you. We have been fighting for the rights of disaster victims for decades and we will do the same for you. We will help you interpret the coverages in your policy, file your damage claims, and negotiate with the insurance company to ensure you receive the maximum best use of your policies and receive the compensation you’ve been paying for.

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