FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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NEW YORK, August 18, 2016 —Louisiana’s flood waters are receding but the recovery process is just beginning for thousands of the state’s residents, whether they’re insured or uninsured, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).
How To File An Insurance Claim:
- Call your insurer as soon as possible to begin claims process. If you purchased all your insurance coverage—auto, home, flood—through the same company, you can make a phone call to your insurance professional. However, if you purchased a flood insurance policy directly from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), you will need to submit a written NFIP “Notice of Loss” (Form 086-0-11) available at: www.fema.gov/library/viewRecord.do?id=2547. Forms are also available at local assistance centers.
- Provide your insurer with your policy number and the best phone number and email address to reach you. Keep in mind that insurers work hard to help people get back on their feet after a natural disaster of the magnitude of the Louisiana flooding, so representatives may reach out to you outside of traditional 9-to-5 work hours.
Ask your insurer when you can expect to be contacted by an insurance adjuster so that you can be prepared for the visit.
- Document the damage. Insurance adjusters must inspect the damage to your home, auto and possessions in order to write a check to help you replace, repair and rebuild. Nearly 80 percent of all U.S. drivers purchase optional comprehensive coverage, which covers damage to your vehicle caused by a flood. If your home is accessible, you can get a head start by documenting losses before the adjuster arrives. For example, take photographs of the damage and document damaged items, including the date of purchase and approximate value—and collect receipts, if you have them.
- If you need to discard damaged items and materials, check with your insurer first and make sure to keep a record of the items in case it’s needed in the claims process.
- Prepare a Proof of Loss. Your insurance adjuster will help you complete a Proof of Loss form, which is a sworn statement of the amount you are claiming, along with supporting documents to substantiate the claim. The form follows the specific details of coverage that are outlined in a homeowners, renters or flood insurance policy. You will need this record in order to get your claim paid.
How To File For Federal Disaster Assistance
President Barack Obama declared a disaster in 20 Louisiana parishes*, which makes federal funding available to affected individuals. Assistance is available for temporary housing and home repairs, and there are low-cost loans available to small businesses to cover uninsured losses. In order to be eligible for federal assistance, affected flood victims must document the loss. You must also document any damage that may be covered by existing insurance policies.
Residents and business owners in declared parishes who sustained losses can begin applying for assistance by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov. If you do not have access to the internet you may register by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the speech and hearing impaired. If you use 711 relay or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 800-621-3362 directly. FEMA plans to keep the toll-free telephone numbers operating from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.
*Louisiana parishes eligible for federal disaster aid, as of August 17 include: Acadia, Ascension, Avoyelles, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Vermilion, Washington and West Feliciana.
The I.I.I. has a full library of educational videos on its You Tube Channel. Information about I.I.I. mobile apps can be found here.
THE I.I.I. IS A NONPROFIT, COMMUNICATIONS ORGANIZATION SUPPORTED BY THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY.
Insurance Information Institute, 110 William Street, New York, NY 10038, (212) 346-5500; www.iii.org