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Tips on How to Handle the Flood Insurance Claims Process

Flood Damage
Author: ServiceMaster Restore

Floods are the number one natural disaster in the United States, reports the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). A flood can destroy basements, entire floors and entire homes, depending on the severity of the flood waters. The NFIP states that the average flood claim from 2010 to 2014 was close to $42,000. Being hit with a flood is beyond stressful, from the prospect of losing your home or belongings to the flood insurance claims process itself. We’re here to make the process of filing a flood insurance claim a little less confusing.

Flood Insurance Claim Tips

  1. Find and review your homeowners or renters insurance policy. Your insurance company or agent can provide a copy if the original was lost or damaged in the flood. Look to the declarations page for information regarding the policy's flood damage coverage, limitations, exclusions and how the claim filing deadlines work.
  2. Call your insurance agent or insurance company. You need to make this call as soon as possible to get the claims process started.
  3. Take pictures and video of the flood damage before beginning any clean-up. The claims adjuster will want to see the damage before any restoration takes place.
  4. Contact ServiceMaster Restore® for a full assessment of the flood damage and an initial estimate of the remediation costs. We will extract standing water and enact effective drying procedures. Our teams also perform pack-out services, board-up and full mold remediation procedures as needed.
  5. Refrain from throwing anything away when removing water damaged items. Your claims adjuster may need to examine items during the claims inspection.
  6. You'll need to provide several pieces of information for your claim. These may include but are not limited to:
  • Date of the flood and cause of the flood
  • Location of flood damage
  • Your contact information or contact information for the property owner
  • Clean-up and remediation estimates
  • Receipts for all clean-up, repairs and other related costs
  • Receipts for hotels and other expenses if you have to leave your home
  • A complete list of all personal items damaged by the flood, including furniture and building materials

During the flood insurance claim process, be sure to keep detailed records of each interaction with the insurance company. Log phone conversations with the date and time, the name of the person you talked with and a brief description of your conversation. Maintain a copy of all written communication with the insurance company, including printed versions of emails and any other digital communication.

Flood Damage Policies

Unfortunately, the average homeowner's insurance policy often doesn't cover floods, even though they are our nation's most common natural disaster. Separate flood insurance can be purchased, which is important especially if you live in a flood zone or in an area prone to natural flooding. Remember that if you're a victim of a major flood or other catastrophic flood event, it may take longer than usual to receive your claim check. The aftermath of a natural disaster can be devastating. Let us make the recovery from an emergency like flooding less stressful. ServiceMaster Restore® is there 24/7/365 for full flood damage and water remediation. Our trusted professionals work safely and quickly so you can focus on getting back to normal.

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