2006-06-30 / Community

FEMA Offers Tips On Flood Insurance

After heavy rainfall saturated parts of New York, and the threat of more rain has been forecasted, flood damage is a serious concern for many local residents. To assist those affected by this rainfall and flooding, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers a Claims Tip Sheet to help clarify the flood insurance claims process for local homeowners and business owners.

Though flooding happens to residents in every corner of the United States, many homeowners and business owners remain unaware that they can purchase federally-backed flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). As long as your community is an NFIP community, the vast majority of homeowners, business owners and renters can get flood insurance.

NFIP urges residents who are not protected with flood insurance to remember the flood insurance basics:

+ You CAN get flood insurance nationwide;

+ You CAN get flood insurance if you live in a floodplain or high-flood-risk area;

+ You CAN get flood insurance if you live outside a floodplain, or a low-to-moderate flood-risk area, and at lower cost;

+ You CAN get flood insurance if your property has been flooded before;

+ You CAN get flood insurance from insurance agents in your area; and

+ You CAN buy flood insurance even if your mortgage broker doesn't require it.

Tips for Filing Your Flood

Insurance Claim

If your community has been flooded, and your property or home has suffered flood damage, please follow these instructions to file your flood insurance claim.

Immediately call your agent or

insurance company

Have the following information with you when you place your call: (1) the name of your insurance company (your agent may write policies for more than one company); (2) your policy number; and (3) a telephone number/e-mail address where you can be reached.

When you file your claim

Ask for an approximate time frame during which an adjustor can be expected to visit your home so you can plan accordingly.

Once you have filed your claim

An adjustor will work with you to calculate the value of the damage and prepare a repair estimate.

Keep your agent advised if your contact information changes. If you are still in a shelter or cannot be easily reached, provide the name of a designated relative or point-of-contact who can reach you.

Before the Adjustor Arrives

Local officials may require the disposal of damaged items. If you dispose of items, keep a swatch or other sample of damaged item(s) for the adjustor.

Separate damaged items from

undamaged items

If necessary, place items outside the home.

Take photos

Take photos of any water in the house and damaged personal property. Your adjustor will need evidence of the damage and damaged items (i.e.: cut swatches from carpeting, curtains, chairs) to prepare your repair estimate.

Make a list of damaged or lost

items and include their age and

value where possible

If possible, have receipts for those items available for the adjustor.

If you have damage estimates prepared by a contractor(s)

Provide them to the adjustor since they will be considered in the preparation of your repair estimate.

Contact your insurance company

If an adjustor has not been assigned to you within several days.

For more flood insurance information or to learn your flood risk, call 1-800-427-2419, or visit www.FloodSma rt.gov.

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