How to File Private Flood Insurance Claims

According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average amount of flood coverage in 2018 was $257,000 with insurers paying a premium of $642 on average. Flood damage is one of the top concerns for homeowners, yet damage caused by floods is not covered in standard homeowners or renter’s insurance policies. So, it is vital for you to have filed for private flood insurance as soon as possible.

According to another Insurance Information Institute article, about 90% of all-natural disasters in the United States involve flooding. So, if you’re smart, you’ve already purchased flood insurance. Let’s talk about how you can file a private flood insurance claim.

Here are the six steps to file a private flood insurance claim:

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Claims Process Step 1: Notify Your Insurance Provider

Your first step in filing a private flood insurance claim is to call up your insurance provider as soon as the damage occurs to your property. Your insurance company will assign an insurance claims adjuster to your case, who will contact you within 2 business days.  

A claims adjuster is someone who investigates insurance claims and makes an unbiased decision regarding the extent of the property damage. Your assigned adjuster will assist you with recording and organizing the information you need to support your claim. If it takes several days to hear from an adjuster, you must contact your insurance provider again. 

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Claims Process Step 2: Manage Your Damage

While you wait for your claims adjuster to schedule an investigation, you must only enter your home when it’s safe to do so. Separate your damaged property from undamaged items, as it will help the adjuster evaluate the damage and prepare estimates for the repair costs. Keep your undamaged property safe and prevent any further damage. 

The next step is to document your situation for the adjuster to see. Documentation is a crucial part of the private flood insurance claims process. Without proper documentation, your insurance provider may deny you your claim.  

Follow these tips to ensure you have documented the damage appropriately: 

  • Take multiple photographs and videos of all damaged property, including all the discarded objects, structural damage, and any standing water levels.   
  • Don’t throw out any items until an insurance adjuster has visited your home as they need to see it too. You can consider placing them outside of your home.   
  • Make a list of damaged or lost items. You can include the item’s description with its model number and date and place of purchase. If you have receipts of those items, make copies of them and include them in the list. 

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Claims Process Step 3: Make Temporary Repairs and Look for Accommodation Options

The claims process is quite lengthy and you may be waiting for at least a few weeks until you are remunerated for the damage. Schedule temporary repairs and if needed, find a safe and habitable environment to live in until payments have been made.  

A private flood insurance covers damages to your building structure, detached garage, personal property, carpeting, and windows. Make sure that you’ve recorded any damages to these structures before you make temporary repairs. 

Fix the most urgent and hazardous problems in your home, such as the electrical system or waterlogged materials. If your electronics or their wires come into contact with water, you may face worse problems. Waterlogged items such as walls or furniture need to be dried out immediately, otherwise indoor air quality can drastically suffer as mold and mildew begin to grow. Keep all receipts from these temporary repairs as well; the insurance provider is liable to reimburse you for these repairs.  

In some cases, your house may be uninhabitable due to excess water and other damages. Look for a temporary living space such as a motel, hotel, or an inn. Don’t worry, you will be reimbursed for your additional living expenses as well.  

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Claims Process Step 4: Prepare for Your Inspection

Your claims adjuster may make an inspection in-person or remotely within a few days of you calling your private flood insurance provider. Keep all of your documentation organized and readily available. Your evidence can consist of photographs, videos, receipts, and more. Don’t forget to keep your policy number and insurance information handy. The adjuster may find it easier if all the evidence is at their disposal so that swift decisions can be made.  

Claims Process Step 5: Meet with Your Adjuster

When you meet with your adjuster, ask for their official identification. They will provide you with a Flood Control Number (FCN). Then, the adjuster will assess the damage and prepare an estimate based on their evaluation. They will also assist you in preparing a Proof of Loss form.  

Review your documents for accuracy. After your Proof of Loss form is accurate and complete, you will be required to sign it and send it to your insurance provider within 60 days after the loss.  

Note that the adjuster will never ask you for any money or charge you for the investigation.  

Receive Your Payment

If you sent in documents that were properly signed and accurately organized, it’s very likely that your claim will be approved. You will receive your payment after you agree on the damage amounts with your insurer. According to FEMA, the claims payment amount is based on the supporting documentation you provide and the coverage in your private flood insurance policy.

If you still have any additional damages to report or have any issue with the coverage amount, you can contact your adjuster or your insurance company’s claims department. Remember that the claims settlement process can take longer than usual if there was major flooding on your property.

Similarly, if you feel like you have been a victim of property theft, here are some points on how you can file an insurance claim in that situation.

Find an insurance agent near you and start your insurance journey today!

Did you find this article helpful? Please let us know in the comments below.

Multiple coverage options on your fingertips.

Choose from various options and select the policy
that best suits your requirement.

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