Managing your flood insurance claim
At the time that you place the call to your flood insurance company, take notes so you will have a record of your claim number and any other important information you are given. You will be assigned to an adjuster. In my case, I was given the adjuster’s name and contact information so I could immediately get the necessary information by phone in order to begin the demolition process. Our adjuster also detailed the procedure for getting reimbursed for our damages. In talking with other flood victims, my friends had varying experiences with this process. Some were well taken care of from the beginning, and one was left hanging for months. As mentioned earlier in this book, there are many insurance companies that administer the flood policy; therefore, experiences will vary in how the claims are handled.
In the case of a widespread disaster, the adjuster will not be able to get to you right away. Hopefully, you can talk with him/her on the phone to get the information you need regarding how much drywall to take out and other demolition details. You will be forwarded a spreadsheet that you will use to itemize your contents and determine their value.
Before the demolition begins, take pictures of built-ins and special features of your house. The adjuster will probably not get to your home until after it has been mucked out, so he will need to see pictures of these features as he does the assessment of your damages.
After the adjuster has been to your house, he will authorize an advance check to be sent so you can get started on your repairs. FEMA authorizes up to $50,000, but you will probably only get $10,000. Again, the friends I was in touch with about their flood claims had varying experiences with the advance check; it varies according to which company is administrating the claim.
The sooner you get your list of personal property to the adjuster, the sooner he can finish up your report specifying the proposed amount of your damages to be reimbursed. The report will be in two parts—dwelling and contents..
For more information on flood insurance, go to Chapter 13 of Flood Survival – The Complete Guide on What to do Before, During, and After a Storm.