Recent victims of Hurricane Matthew in North Carolina need to be aware of some of the basic facts of flood insurance:
- Homeowner’s insurance does not typically cover flood damage.
- Flood damage is compensated from flood policies issued under the National Flood Insurance Program.
- The NFIP covers up to $250,000 for the structure of the home and $100,000 for personal possessions. Excess policies are available.
- Under the NFIP, homeowners must file a Proof of Loss form within 60 days of a flood.
- To file a claim with the NFIP, homeowners should contact the NFIP Claims Call Center at 1-800-621-3362.
- There is a grace period for expired NFIP policies.
- Policies expire at 12:01 am on the last day of the effective term, but you remain covered for 30 days after the expiration of the policy.
- Flood insurance covers your home’s foundation.
- This could be extremely important after heavy rain or flooding has weakened your home’s foundation.
- If you have taken mitigating steps to protect your home or property, you may be eligible for reimbursement.
- You may receive up to $1,000 in reimbursements for things like renting space to store your household belongings, buying sandbags or materials to barricade your home from water, and renting pumps. No deductible applies to this part of your coverage, so save all receipts.
- Federal disaster assistance does not compensate for flood losses.
- What it does do is provide low interest loans for rebuilding if you do not have a flood insurance policy.
- These funds are in the form of loans and must be repaid.
- Complete FAQ available at https://www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/pages/faqs.jsp
Remember that resolving your flood insurance claim, or any Hurricane Matthew insurance claim for that matter – homeowners or otherwise – is a negotiation with your insurance company. It may be beneficial for residents and business owners to hire their own independent hurricane claims adjuster to provide an impartial estimate, rather than relying on an adjuster paid by an insurance company.