Midwest Flooding: How to File a Flood Insurance Claim

Article Placeholder Image
By Admin on May 01, 2013 12:46 PM

Throughout the Midwest, homes and families hit hard by flooding are now looking to their insurance companies to help them get back on their feet.

Fortunately, victims of floods can follow these four steps to start receiving compensation for damage to homes and businesses:

1. Contact Your Insurance Company ASAP.

This seems like a no-brainer, but the first step to filing your flood insurance claim is to call up your insurance agent or insurance company. You will need to be ready to provide them with your insurance policy number and the best ways to get in touch with you.

Remember, normal homeowner's insurance doesn't cover flooding, so you need separate flood insurance in order to file a claim.

2. Collect Evidence.

In order to prove that you have damage to your property and belongings, you need to make a list and take photographs of the flood-damaged portions.

Make sure to record any:

  • Water damage. This includes any walls, floors, ceilings, or belongings which have taken on floodwater.
  • Mold. Both toxic mold and the less-harmful varieties should be documented if you see them.
  • Foundation damage. Cracks in the foundation, uneven floors, bulges, and other structural issues can be incredibly expensive to fix and shouldn't be forgotten.

Make sure to take safety precautions when you are re-entering a flooded area to take photos. There may be toxic mold, water-borne bacteria and raw sewage to contend with.

3. Speak With Your Adjuster.

After contacting your insurance company, an insurance adjuster will schedule a time to visit your property and assess your claim.

When the adjuster arrives, make sure you have:

  • A list of damaged items (including photos);
  • An estimated value for each item and when it was purchased; and
  • A separate area for all damaged goods so that the adjuster can easily view them.

4. File a Proof of Loss Form.

Your adjuster will provide you this form after his assessment, and you have within 60 days of the flood to file this with your insurance company.

Some flooding disasters have prompted the deadline to be relaxed, but you cannot expect any compensation until you file this form. So earlier is always better.

Of course, if you run into any issues in dealing with your flood insurance company, an experienced insurance lawyer can help.

Related Resources: