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Floods impact northeast, how to navigate a flood insurance claim

Written by: Sill Public Adjusters

Floods impact northeast, how to navigate a flood insurance claim

Catastrophic flooding has impacted parts of the northeast over the past several days. Rising waters destroyed thousands of homes and businesses, according to news reports.

One of the hardest hit areas was Montpelier, Vermont, where people were forced to evacuate, and devasting floods shut down the downtown area.

Flooding incidents can cause significant damage to properties, making it crucial for property owners residing in flood-prone areas or near water bodies to secure appropriate insurance coverage.

Understanding the correct type of insurance and seeking professional assistance can help you navigate the complex claims process effectively. Our team of experts has some insight into the importance of flood insurance and offers tips on how a public adjuster can assist property owners dealing with flood damage.

Understanding Flood Insurance:

Flood insurance is a specialized coverage designed to protect property owners from losses caused by flood-related damages. It typically covers structural damage to buildings and the contents within, including furniture, appliances, and personal belongings.

It is important to note that flood insurance policies generally exclude coverage for damages caused by moisture, mold, or sewer backups, which may require separate insurance.

Choosing the Right Type of Coverage:

  1. National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP): The NFIP is a federal program administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that offers flood insurance to homeowners, renters, and business owners in participating communities. NFIP policies cover both buildings and contents, and coverage limits vary based on property type and location. It is advisable to check if your community participates in the NFIP and understand the coverage limits applicable to your property.

  2. Private Flood Insurance: Private insurance companies have entered the flood insurance market, offering additional coverage options. These policies may provide higher coverage limits, additional benefits, and customized coverage based on your specific needs. When considering private flood insurance, carefully review policy terms, limits, exclusions, and the financial stability of the insurer.

Tips for Property Owners:

  1. Assess Flood Risk: Evaluate your property's flood risk by considering its proximity to water bodies, historical flood data, and local floodplain maps. This information will help determine the appropriate coverage level required to adequately protect your property.

  2. Document Property and Belongings: Take detailed photographs or videos of your property and its contents before any potential flood event. This documentation will serve as crucial evidence during the claims process and can help establish the value of your losses.

  3. Maintain an Inventory: Create an inventory of your belongings, including their estimated value, purchase receipts, and any applicable serial numbers. This inventory will expedite the claims process and ensure accurate reimbursement for your damaged or lost items.

  4. Understand Policy Exclusions: Familiarize yourself with the policy exclusions, deductibles, and coverage limits of your flood insurance. This knowledge will prevent surprises when filing a claim and help you make informed decisions regarding additional coverage if needed.

The Role of a Public Adjuster:

Dealing with flood damage can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to negotiating with insurance companies for fair compensation. This is where a public adjuster can provide invaluable assistance.

A public adjuster is an independent professional licensed to represent policyholders in the insurance claims process. Their expertise includes:

  1. Policy Review: A public adjuster thoroughly reviews your flood insurance policy, ensuring you understand its terms, conditions, and coverage limits. This knowledge is crucial for maximizing your claim.

  2. Damage Assessment: Public adjusters conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the flood-related damages to your property. Their expertise allows them to identify all potential areas of coverage, including structural damage, content losses, and additional expenses.

  3. Claim Preparation: Public adjusters compile and submit a comprehensive claim package on your behalf, ensuring that all necessary documentation, including estimates, inventories, and photographs, is included. This minimizes the chances of claim denials or delays due to incomplete or inaccurate information.

  4. Negotiation and Advocacy: Public adjusters negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, striving to secure the maximum possible settlement. Their knowledge of the insurance industry and claim settlement processes helps level the playing field, providing you with expert representation.

Securing adequate flood insurance is essential for protecting your property from potential flood damage. Understanding the available coverage options, assessing your flood risk, and documenting your property and belongings are crucial steps in safeguarding your financial well-being.

Additionally, seeking the assistance of a public adjuster can alleviate the stress of the claims process and ensure fair compensation. By taking proactive measures and obtaining professional guidance, property owners can effectively navigate the complexities of flood insurance and protect their properties from rising water damage.

Sill Public Adjusters have the experience to help decipher coverages and help anyone who may be dealing with a flood insurance claim. If your property was damaged by flood, you should call us immediately for a quick review of your policy.

We can determine if you have the right coverage and speed up your settlement if your policy covers flood. Our team is available 24/7 at 844.650.7455.