Filing a Flood Insurance Claim: What Happens Next?
There’s a big storm headed your way. The weather report tells you there is a risk of flooding, and you’re ready. You have your emergency kit and phone numbers to call for assistance – including your flood insurer’s claims number. When the flood comes and your family’s immediate safety needs are met, you know it is time to file your flood insurance claim.
But what happens next? Here’s what to expect when making that call to file a flood insurance claim.
Be ready with the what, when, where, why and how much - You should be ready with some information to share with the claims adjuster, whether you file over the phone or online. Write down the date(s) of the flooding and what led to it. You will need to approximate the amount of the loss; how much do the damaged items or materials cost? Document any steps you took to prevent further damage, such as removing water or debris. The adjuster will need to verify that a loss has occurred before they can file the claim.
Understand the timeline – A claims adjuster should respond to your claim within two days. Though a reputable insurer will seek to settle your claim within a few days, that is not always possible. If there was a large flood that affected thousands of homes and businesses, a flood insurance claim may take longer to adjust (i.e., assess) and process.
Consider other damage – Once you have filed your flood insurance claim, you may need to file other claims related to storm damage. For example, if windows were broken by flying debris, that may be covered as wind damage under your homeowner’s insurance policy. You may have auto insurance coverage for flood damage – that claim would have to be filed under your auto insurance policy. Review your insurance policies and talk to your insurers.
Behind the scenes, the claims adjuster will be working hard to assess your claim. That includes documenting and verifying any information you have provided. If access to your property is limited due to extensive flooding, the adjuster may have to wait to visit your property and make an evaluation. They may need to determine whether the claim is covered under your flood insurance policy — was the damage caused by flooding or some other hazard? Do you have enough coverage to pay the entire claim? Do you have coverage for the contents of your basement?
Your claims experience will differ depending on your insurer. In a past blog post, we have highlighted the claims handling differences between policies backed by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and private insurers — read that here.
To talk to the FloodPrice.com team about a flood insurance claim, please call 866-503-5663. We know filing a claim is often the last thing people want to deal with after a harrowing experience like a flood, so we’re here to help.