How Do I Start My Flood Claim? | FEMA.gov
english: how do I file my flood insurance claim?
This page explains the claims process and steps to take when starting your National Flood Insurance Program flood insurance claim and working with your adjuster and agent. the more you know, the easier the process will be.
More information about the claims process is available in these printable and shareable products, Starting Your Recovery: The FEMA Flood Insurance Claims Process and How to File a Claim (Infographic).
the flood insurance claims process
Step 1: Contact your insurance agent or company to report your flood loss. your flood insurance policy requires you to immediately notify us in writing of your loss. Your adjuster will typically contact you within 24-48 hours of filing your claim. however, depending on local conditions and the severity of the flood, it may take longer. When reporting the claim, ask about getting an advance payment to help you get started on your recovery. advance payments are deducted from the final claim payment.
How do I contact my insurance company? Find your insurance company’s toll-free number. If you need help finding your insurance company, call the NFIP Call Center at 1-800-427-4661. Representatives at the call center can tell you who your insurance provider is and how to contact them if you’re unsure, as well as answer any other questions you may have.Hurricane Florence Information
Please be ready to provide this information when you file your claim:
- the name of your insurance company;
- your policy number; and
- a phone number and/or email address where you can be reached.
- the name of any mortgage company (applicable if the insured property is mortgaged)
- For items like washers and dryers, water heaters, kitchen appliances, televisions, and computers, be sure to take a picture of the make, model, and serial number.
- For your building items, save a few swatches (swatches) and also photograph items like water-damaged carpet (and other flooring), wallpaper, and draperies before you throw them away so you can show them to your adjuster during inspection.
- After photographing, immediately dispose of items with flooded contents that pose a health risk, such as perishable food, clothing, cushions, pillows, etc.
- Contact repair services if the building’s electrical, water, or HVAC systems are damaged. It is important to consult your adjuster or insurance company before signing any agreement/contract with a cleanup, remediation, or maintenance contractor.
- Contact your community building department and floodplain manager for information on:
- whether your property sustained significant damage;
- tips on how to best protect or repair your home; and
- obtaining a building permit. this is a very important thing to build or repair according to local ordinances.
- an explanation of the nfip flood claims process.
- an inspection of your property, during which you will assess your loss by taking measurements and taking photographs.
- an explanation of what an advance payment is and how or if you can get one.
- information on how to present your loss to your insurance company and a discussion of your policy coverage.
- The insurance company, not the adjuster, has the authority to approve your claim.
- if you haven’t already, ask the adjuster about getting an advance payment to help you start to recover.
- Be sure to provide your current mailing address and phone number if you are displaced.
- ask your adjuster about the increased cost of compliance.
- The adjuster should never ask you for money or collect the amount of your deductible.
- Talk to your agent about your insurance policy, what it covers, and read the claims manual.
- Provide photos and videos of your flood loss to your adjuster. it can be useful to organize them by room.
- a legally authorized official has prohibited entry to the area (possibly as a result of downed trees, downed power lines, mudslides/road destruction, and any other reason the official may restrict entry); and or
- flooding remains around the house or in the area that prevents the policyholder from inspecting and maintaining the insured property.
- Get a building permit before making structural repairs. this is a very important thing to build or repair according to local ordinances.
- Keep receipts and photos of the replaced or repaired property in case it floods again and you have another claim.
- More than one insurance claims adjuster may visit your property. Adjusters are trained to distinguish the cause of a specific damage to your home if you had multiple causes of loss (for example, flood and wind or flood and fire).
- If your adjuster has questions about complicated damages, they may seek the assistance of an engineer or other experts. These experts can help determine the cause and extent of the damage.
- Your adjusters may need to consult with each other during the adjustment of your claims. If they determine that your damage had multiple causes, you will have to go through more than one claim process because you are dealing with two or more policies that cover different risks.
- The claims manual can help you as you go through the process of filing and settling your flood insurance claim.
- This checklist for disaster survivors can help you as you go through the nfip flood claims process.
- The Summary of Coverage can help NFIP policyholders understand what their policy does and does not cover, and how items are valued at the time of loss.
- substantial damages and other things you should know about the increased cost of compliance.
- Learn about the rising cost of compliance and how you can help mitigate properties experiencing substantial or repeated flood damage.
- Find additional publications and other resources to help policyholders before, during and after a flood.
- rebuilding after a hurricane.
- learn about voluntary organizations active in disasters
- learn how to report disaster fraud.
Note: Flood loss prevention is a protective measure you take to minimize flood damage and loss to your buildings and personal property before a flood occurs. so talk to your claims adjuster about whether you took steps to prevent losses. National Flood Insurance Program policies will cover up to $1,000 in reasonable expenses incurred to protect your insured property and up to $1,000 to move your insured property away from a flood or imminent danger of flooding.
Step 3: Work with your adjusterWhen your claims adjuster arrives, you should show them your official identification (driver’s license and company ID or flood control number [fcn card]). They must also provide you with their contact information, such as their name, email, phone number, and their adjusting company’s name and phone number. when meeting with you, your adjuster should cover the following:
other things you should know, do or discuss with your adjuster:
At the end of your inspection, your adjuster should provide you with information on what to do and what will happen next.
Step 4: Document your loss and get paid Your adjuster will help you document your flood damage for the claim. Here are some things you can do to help the claims process run smoothly:
The adjuster will work with you to submit an estimate of your flood loss. be sure to ask your insurance company about important deadlines you need to meet. This will help ensure you receive a claim payment that reflects your flood loss, within your policy limits.
Cleaning and Mold: Your Responsibilities
Please note that it is your responsibility to do everything possible to prevent the growth and spread of mold. Learn about cleaning and mold removal. nfip flood insurance policies will not cover mold damage if the policyholder does not take steps to prevent the growth and spread of mold.
In some cases, it is simply not possible for an insured to come to the property and clean and remove the mold. damage may be covered when:
sign up for disaster assistance
In addition to filing a flood claim, when there is a presidentially declared disaster, you are encouraged to register for federal disaster assistance by calling toll-free 800-621-3362 (800-462-7585 tty ), or by applying online at disasterassistance.gov. Disaster assistance may be available for things like additional living expenses that are not covered by your policy.
before and while doing repairs and shopping
your property can be visited by various officials
Learn about the various visitors that may come to your property after a flood, who is knocking on your door? Please note the following:
additional useful resources
do you still need help?
visit fema have a problem? web page.
Step 2: Prepare for your inspectionBefore you enter, make sure it is safe to re-enter the building. Take photos and videos of the damaged property, including items you plan to dispose of. As much as possible, your photos and videos should document structural damage; standing water levels (both inside and outside); and damage to appliances, furniture, and other items before moving, removing, or disposing of anything. Your adjuster will need evidence of the damage to your home and possessions to prepare your repair estimate.