Uninsured or Underinsured Flood Damage in Massachusetts?

November 30, 2005

Disaster recovery officials are urging those who sustained damages to their personal or business properties as a result of the severe storms and flooding in October to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for disaster aid whether they had insurance or not. They may find that insurance may not cover all of the recovery costs and that homeowners’ insurance may not cover floods.

Residents and business owners in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth and Worcester counties may be eligible for a variety of state and federal disaster aid programs regardless of their insurance coverage.

Available disaster aid includes financial assistance to pay for temporary housing, emergency repairs or rebuilding, rental costs, and individual and household grants to cover serious unmet needs.

Additionally, low-interest disaster loans are available from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for uninsured or underinsured damages to homes, personal properties, and businesses.

“Whether your disaster recovery needs are met by insurance coverage or not, it can only benefit you to apply for disaster aid through FEMA,” said Peter Martinasco, FEMA’s federal coordinating officer for this disaster. “We are committed to providing a broad range of disaster aid programs to help people recover and rebuild here, including those who may have insurance but whose costs are not fully covered.”

“There is no need to wait for an insurance settlement before calling to apply,” said State Coordinating Officer Cristine McCombs, director of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA). “We are working very closely with FEMA to provide disaster recovery resources to the affected communities, so it is crucial that residents and business owners make use of these resources whether they were uninsured or underinsured.”

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