Filing Damage Claims with the National Flood Insurance Program
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is operated by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA). It offers flood coverage to businesses and homeowners who are in flood zones. Because of how severe the devastation to Puerto Rico, FEMA has established an enhanced claims process for Hurricane Irma and Maria damage claims. Policyholders can receive up to $5,000 in advanced payments, even before an adjuster is scheduled to inspect the property. If you submit proof of the damages and loss, your advanced payment could be as high as $20,000. Proof that you can submit for the higher payment includes pictures and videos as the damage as well as a contractor’s written estimate of the costs to repair and rebuild. Be aware though that any advanced payment you receive will be subtracted from the final payment and that by accepting the advance payment, you certify the damage you reported.
Filing Damage Claims with Private Insurance Providers
Private insurance providers will have their own deadlines for damage claims, so it is best to check your policy as soon as possible. If you do not have a copy of your policy, your provider can give you one and they will be able to explain the established deadlines as well as how long they believe the process will last. Note the deadlines for the various steps of the claims process, such as reviewing the claim, inspecting the property, filing and reviewing the adjuster’s report, and making a decision on your claim. If your insurance provider misses any of these deadlines, contact them to find out why.
Even though your insurance provider may be overwhelmed with damage claims because of hurricanes Irma and Maria, you have a right to have your claim reviewed and processed in a timely manner. In fact, some insurance providers may have deadlines that are established by law.
If your insurance provider is giving you the run-around and delaying your claim, or if your legitimate claim was unfairly denied or underpaid, contact us today. We can help you file your claim correctly and within the established time limits, and we will ensure that you are treated fairly throughout the entire process and that you are paid the maximum amount that is available to you.