Articles Posted in Flood Insurance

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LouisianaFloodCrop-1-291x300Under normal circumstances when flooding is not severe, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requires a policyholder to send the insurer a complete, signed, and sworn-to proof of loss within sixty (60) days after the date of loss. However, when flooding is extensive, the time period may be extended by FEMA pursuant to 44 C.F.R §61.13 (d).  For certain August, 2016 Louisiana flooding, FEMA granted a 60 day extension and is now granting a second 60 day extension.

To allow policyholders additional time to finalize their claims, FEMA issue an additional limited waiver of the 60-day proof of loss requirement by extending the period another 60 days. With this extension, a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policyholder will have a total of 180 days following the date of loss to provide the completed, signed, and sworn-to proof of loss to the insurer. This waiver is issued pursuant to 44 CFR § 61.13(d) and the SFIP. This waiver does not alter any other terms or conditions of the NFIP.

The limited waiver applies to all NFIP claims associated with FICO Number 679,4 whether the NFIP issued the policy directly or through the Write Your Own (WYO) Program.

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Under normal circumstances when flooding is not severe, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requires a policyholder to send the insurer a complete, signed, and sworn-to proof of loss within sixty (60) days after the date of loss. However, when flooding is extensive, the time period may be extended by FEMA pursuant to 44 C.F.R §61.13 (d). 

For certain August, 2016 Louisiana flooding, FEMA has chosen to grant an extension because it found that properties insured by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in the State of Louisiana experienced significant flood losses as a result of a severe mid-summer storms beginning August 9, 2016 through August 31, 2016.  FEMA/NFIP further found the impact of this extensive flooding may delay the claims process for many NFIP policyholders, and NFIP policyholders may encounter difficulties filing a timely proof of loss for claims arising from this event.

Accordingly, the NFIP is allowing policyholders a total of 120 days following the date of loss to provide the completed, signed, and sworn-to proof of loss to the insurer.  For more information about the extension see the full announcement at WYO Company Bulletin W-16067.

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Louisiana homeowners who received a flood insurance payments relating to the 2016 floods may find their mortgage company’s name on flood insurance check allocated towards structural damage payment.

Mortgage companies generally require their name be placed on flood or other property damage checks that relate to the structure to make sure the property is fixed or the mortgage paid off.

The mortgage companies usually have a “Loss Draft Department” to communicate with for purposes of disbursing the funds.  Most have their own Loss Draft procedure. Some are listed online and others require you to call for information.

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On August 22, 2016, FEMA directed flood insurance claims adjusters to help local government officials in promptly identifying “Substantially Damaged” property. Specifically, FEMA stated that claims adjusters are required to submit daily reports of possible substantially damaged properties to the National Flood Insurance Program Bureau & Statistical Agent.

Substantially Damaged is a term that applies to a damaged structure in a Special Flood Hazard Area or floodplain where the cost total cost of repair is 50 percent or more than the structure’s market value before the flood occurred. For example, if the value before the flood was $250,000 and the repairs cost $130,000, the structure is “substantially damaged.” The land value is excluded from the calculation.

The decision about whether a structure is substantially damaged is made at the local government level, generally by a building inspectors, zoning administrators and other permit official that enforce the flood-plain management requirements of a community participating in the National Flood Insurance Program.

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In an effort to speed up Louisiana recovery efforts and get settlement cash into the hands of Louisiana’s Flood Insurance Policyholders, FEMA is making available early partial settlement payments even before an adjuster’s inspection.  FEMA has made changes to allow for the following:

• Homeowners can get up to $5,000 each for a policy covering their home and a policy covering their contents by signing an advance payment form.  This form can be obtained from the company servicing your policy.

•Up to half of the estimated settlement amount can be paid out if the homeowners has a copy of a contractor’s estimate and gets the property inspected by the adjuster.

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Many residents and businesses affected by the recent Louisiana flooding in East Baton Rouge, Livingston, Saint Helena, Tangipahoa Acadia, Ascension, Avoyelles, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Point Coupee, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Tammany, Vermilion, Washington and West Feliciana parishes may find they do not have enough flood insurance or no flood insurance to cover their losses.

Accordingly, The Small Business Administration is preparing to provide assistance to Louisiana residents in East Baton Rouge, Livingston, Saint Helena and Tangipahoa parishes as a result of the storms and flooding beginning on August 11, 2016.

The SBA wants to provide affected Louisiana residents and businesses with access to federal disaster loans.

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Recently, the Louisiana Insurance Commissioner answered some questions about insurance coverage.

“Am I covered for this?” That’s one thought you never want to have after an incident. But unless you’re familiar with the ins and outs of your insurance policies, that’s exactly what you could be left wondering. The purpose of insurance is to help protect your family and finances from life’s surprises. One way to make sure you’re covered from future losses is by periodically reviewing and updating your policy to fit your needs.

Below is a quick quiz to test your knowledge of standard homeowners, auto and health insurance policies. After you complete the quiz, scroll down to the end of the newsletter to see the correct answers.

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If your home of business flooded due to Hurricane Isaac, you should be aware that you may be facing important legal deadlines to make your Flood Insurance Claim.

Your official flood insurance claim for damages is made through a Proof of Loss. The Proof of Loss must be fully completed, signed and in the hands of your insurance company within 60 days after the loss occurs.

You are responsible for making sure the Proof of Loss is accurately completed and timely filed. FEMA may offer a Proof of Loss extension in cases of severe flooding in your area. Extensions of time to file will be posted on the FEMA website and announced by the news media. As of October 22, 2012, FEMA has not yet granted an extension of time for filing a Proof of Loss for Hurricane Isaac flood damage.

To prove the insurance company has received the Proof of Loss, you should probably mail it U.S. Certified Mail-Return Receipt Requested. Of course, keep a copy of the Proof of Loss and supporting documents for your records.

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Tropical Storm Lee is expected to produce extensive rainfall. The National Weather Service National Hurricane Center advised at 1 p.m. today that

TROPICAL STORM LEE IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE TOTAL RAIN
ACCUMULATIONS OF 10 TO 15 INCHES OVER SOUTHERN LOUISIANA…SOUTHERN
MISSISSIPPI…AND SOUTHERN ALABAMA THROUGH SUNDAY…WITH POSSIBLE
ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 20 INCHES. THESE RAINS ARE EXPECTED TO
CAUSE EXTENSIVE FLOODING…ESPECIALLY IN URBAN AREAS.

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Louisiana Flood Insurance applicants should know The National Flood Insurance Program usually requires a 30-day waiting period, after applying and paying the premium, before the flood insurance policy becomes effective. However, there are exceptions:

  1. There is no waiting period when flood insurance is required by a lender in connection with the making, increasing, extending or renewing of a loan. The policy will be effective at the date of the loan closing, as long as the application has been completed and the premium payment has been made at or before the closing date.
  2. There is no waiting period when flood insurance is required by a lender after a mortgage portfolio review shows that the building is in a high-risk area. The policy will be effective upon the completion of the application and receipt of the premium payment by the insurer.
  3. There is a one-day waiting period when a new policy or additional amounts of coverage are required by the lender during the 13-month period following certain map revisions. This applies when the map revision changes the structure’s designation from a non-high-risk area to a high-risk area.

Speak with your flood insurance agent to see if you qualify for one of the exceptions.

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