Flood Claims Process Doesn’t Have to Leave Residents all Wet

August 3, 2005

More than 1.8 million Floridians hold flood insurance policies and many of those in the Panhandle have filed or will be filing damage claims in the days ahead as a result of Hurricane Dennis.

Traditionally, the steps in the process are:

* The policyholder files a claim with the insurance company.
* An adjuster visits to survey the damage, both to structure and contents.
* Either the adjuster or the policyholder prepares a form called “Proof of Loss,” a legal document that is an itemized statement of the losses suffered. Policyholders then must submit the proof of loss statement to their insurance carrier within 60 days of the first occurrence of the flood damage.
* If the insured individual cannot agree with the adjuster on the amount of damage, he or she should ask for assistance from the adjuster’s supervisor. Disputes are best handled by working with the insurance company.

Almost 20,000 communities across the U. S. participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is administered by the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The program makes federally backed flood insurance available to homeowners, renters and business owners in those communities. To participate in the program, the community must agree to pass and enforce sound floodplain management ordinances.

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