Have Flood Insurance? Don’t Wait To File Your Claim, Officials Say

STATE – If you’ve registered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and have not filed a flood insurance claim, don’t put it off any longer.

“Federal assistance can’t duplicate insurance benefits,” said William L. Vogel, federal coordinating officer for FEMA, “and failing to file an insurance claim could delay any disaster benefits you may be eligible to receive.”

If your property or home has suffered flood damage:

  • Call your insurance agent immediately.
  • Provide the name of your insurance company (if he/she represents more than one carrier), your policy number and contact information where you can be reached.
  • Ask the agent to give you an approximate time frame for the adjuster’s visit, so you can plan accordingly.
  • If you haven’t heard from the adjuster within a couple of days after the expected visit, contact your agent again.

“For sanitation reasons, you may be asked to dispose of damaged items before your adjuster arrives,” said Lt. Paul Miller, state coordinating officer with the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management. “Take photos prior to starting any clean-up; photos of any water in the house and of any damaged personal property. Your adjuster will need evidence of the damage and damaged items.”

Make a list of damaged or destroyed items and include their age and value when possible. If possible, have receipts for all items available for the adjuster.

Separate damaged items from undamaged items. If necessary, place damaged items outside the home. (See http://tinyurl.com/3bwp992 for an easy to understand drawing showing simple guidelines for debris removal.) Be sure and keep a sample of damaged items. Your adjuster will need evidence of the damage and damaged items (e.g., swatches from carpeting, curtains, chairs) to prepare your estimate.

If you have damage estimates prepared by a contractor, provide them to your adjuster since they will be considered in the preparation of your repair estimate.

The adjuster will calculate the value of the damage and prepare a repair estimate.

For additional information and answers to other disaster assistance-related topics, go to http://www.fema.gov/rebuild/index.shtm, or call FEMA at 1-800-621-3362 (FEMA). Those with access or functional needs and who use a TTY, call 1-800-462-7585; or, use 711 or Video Relay Service to call 1-800-621-3362.

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