Flood Insurance Claim Guide
Floods can cause devastating damage to homes. One of the first steps to restoring your property after a flood is to consider filing a flood claim.
Flood Insurance Claim Guide
Filling a claim for flood damage is done in multiple steps:
- Contact the Insurance Company
The first thing to do is contact your insurance company. Most homeowners’ insurance does not cover flood damage, so your flood insurance might be with a different insurance company than your homeowner's insurance. If you aren't sure who your insurance carrier is, you can call the National Flood Insurance Program Call Center at 1-800-427-4661 to find out.
- Provide Information
Your insurance company will need several pieces of information. This may include your policy number, a phone number, and an email address where your insurance company can contact you. You’ll need the name of your mortgage company if you have one as well. If you don't know all this information, your insurance or claims agent may be able to look it up for you.
- Document Your Damage
It usually takes 24-48 hours for an insurance company to assign an adjuster. However, if flooding is widespread, it could take longer. While you are waiting, take photos and videos of any visible damage to your property, as well as flood lines on the outside and inside of structures. Photograph the make, model, and any serial numbers available for electronics and appliances. Remember, safety first; do not enter flooded areas or structures until they have been declared safe by a professional or emergency responder.
- Discard Flood Damaged Items That Are Unsafe
After you take photos and keep samples of materials such as pieces of carpet, flooring, drapes, or wallpaper, throw away flood-damaged items that are unsafe to keep. Such a list includes perishable foods, cushions, clothing, and pillows.
- Contact Repair Services
If the electrical, HVAC, or water systems of your home are damaged, contact repair services to line up potential solutions. Chances are good that if you are having issues, many others in your area are as well. Be sure to talk to your insurance company about your flood claim before you sign any contracts. This is also a good time to schedule a flood remediation company in Washington, NC, to begin drying and cleaning your damaged home.
- Meet the Adjuster
When the insurance adjuster arrives, ask to see the adjuster's Flood Control Number card and other official identification. This protects you against scammers who may be posing as insurance adjusters. Review the adjuster's written report and estimate for any errors. A legitimate insurance adjuster will not ask you to pay your deductible, charge you a fee or ask for money for any other reason.
- Payment and Repairs
Once the insurance company receives the adjuster's report and estimate, it will review the report, along with any documentation you have provided, to establish the value of your claim. If you disagree with the value the insurance company determines, you may need to submit additional supporting documentation to prove your claim. Once a settlement is reached, the insurance company will issue you a check and you can use the money to make repairs.
The flood claim process can be lengthy, particularly if there are many people in your area with damaged property. The faster you get the process started, the sooner you can expect to receive payment.