Harris County recently incurred some of the worst flooding in our county’s history. Many homeowners are still overwhelmed by the massive damage those flood waters left behind. This guide is our way to ease the burden by providing you a free overview of steps you need to take to protect the value of your property as you navigate the flood claim process.
Farrah Martinez, Injury and Accident Lawyer, A Guide on How to Handle a Flood Claim Process.
1. Contact your insurance agent right away. If you are unable to reach your agent, keep trying. Call every day until you speak with your agent. If you still are unable to speak with your agent, send written notice to your insurance company.
2. Take pictures and video. As with any incident involving loss or injury, it is always recommended to take pictures and video of every area and any item that has been damaged. This should be done before you remove anything.
3. Assess the damage. Go through your property and try to separate the damaged goods from the items that have not been damaged. DO NOT THROW OUT ANYTHING! Wait until your insurance company has sent out an adjuster before you get rid of anything.
4. Make a list. List out each item that has been damaged, the date you purchased the item and the place of purchase. Next, look for receipts, credit card bills, and bank statements to prove how much you paid for the damaged items. If you cannot find your receipt, look for those items online and print and picture along with the price. Look for the serial or model number on your item to find exact matches online. For larger purchases, contact the furniture or electronics store that sold you the product. If you have an account, the store is likely to have a record.
5. File your proof of loss form. Normally you have 60 days to file. The proof of loss form is provided by FEMA. You must swear that the contents of the form are true and correct and return the proof of loss form with the necessary evidence to show the value of your loss. Review step four for details. The more evidence you have, the better. Below is a link to FEMA’s proof of loss form.
6. Don’t wait until the last minute. Start today gathering evidence, talking with your agent and reviewing the proof of loss form. The sooner you gather all the evidence you need, the sooner you can submit your claim.
7. For help and legal questions on how to handle flood claims, contact Farrah Martinez Insurance Law Attorney at (713) 853-9296 for a free consultation.
Link to proof of loss form provided by FEMA.
Disclaimer: The information and materials provided here are for general informational purposes only and are not intended as legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. Nothing on this blog is intended to substitute for the advice of an attorney. If you need legal advice, please consult with a competent attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.