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FEMA Extends National Flood Insurance Program Time For Sending Proofs Of Loss Related to Louisiana Mid-Summer Severe Storms

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. Properly and timely filing the Proof of Loss (and any Supplemental Proof of Loss) and any necessary supporting documentation is critical for getting paid and for preserving a policyholder’s right to file a NFIP flood insurance lawsuit should he/she be shortchanged by the NFIP or flood insurance company on structure or content payments. If you need help with preparing your flood insurance claim, your […]

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So You Have a Flood Damage Check With Your Mortgage Company’s Name on It? Contact Your Loss Draft Department

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. Fannie Mae, the leading source of financing for mortgage lenders, sets forth Servicer Responsibilities for Fannie Mae Servicers and the action to be taken depending on whether the property can be legally rebuilt.  If the property cannot be rebuilt, the insurance loss proceeds are used to reduce the outstanding mortgage loan debt. If the property can be rebuild, the Servicer will require details of the damage, including information about the proof of loss, contractor to be used, plans etc.  and will monitor the disbursement of proceeds for purposes of making repairs, monitor the repairs and inspect the repairs from time to time.  The Servicer may also require a lien release.

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Is Your Flooded Louisiana Property “Substantially Damaged”? What It May Mean To You!

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. A “substantial damage” determination is important because the determination will dictate whether additional work will be needed to comply with local codes and ordinances, such as elevating a house in a floodplain (or flood proofed if it is a non-residential structure) to or above the level of the 100-year or base flood, and meet other applicable requirements. If the structure is substantially damaged and not brought into compliance with community floodplain management regulations, then your flood insurance premiums could increase to thousands of dollars per year. If you need help with […]

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Louisiana Flood Insurance Policyholder? FEMA Makes Available Early Partial Settlement Payments

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.  FEMA is providing National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Servicing Agent and Independent Adjusting Firms with Advance Payments Guidance for both opportunities.  The FEMA guidance says that the insurer must notify the policyholder in writing of the following conditions: 1.The advance payment is not a payment for Additional Living Expenses (ALE). ALE is specifically excluded in the SFIP. 2.The advance payment is conditioned upon the insured signing an Advance Payment Request which contains a Non-Waiver Agreement (which means that no claims by the insured or insurer, or available defenses to the insured or insurer, are prejudiced or waived by the issuance and acceptance of the advance payment, and coverage under the policy is not admitted). 3.Acceptance of an advance payment will not affect the insured’s right to seek additional payments under the terms and conditions of their SFIP. 4.After the claim is settled, […]

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