NY Sandy-related NFIP Flood Claims

NY Sandy-related NFIP Flood Claims

Disaster Recovery Ministries Team


Fact Sheet

NY Sandy-related NFIP Flood Claims

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, thousands of New Yorkers have filed claims for flood insurance. While many policy holders have received satisfactory settlements, others may not have. Policy holders who still have open claims should consider taking the following steps:

Fill in the blanks

  • If you have not already done so, provide photographs of your damaged property, including discarded objects, structural damage and standing water levels.
  • Make or update your list of damaged or lost items, including the date of purchase, value and receipt for each, if possible. If there are items missing or incorrectly stated on the adjuster’s loss report, provisions of the National Flood Insurance Program allow you the opportunity to file a supplemental claim. The supplemental claim process can be found in the NFIP Claims handbook online at www.floodsmart.gov/toolkits/flood/downloads/f687_claimshandbook_feb09.pdf .
  • If you have received bids for repairs from a contractor, provide them to your adjuster since they will be considered in the preparation of your damage estimate. If the estimate is already completed and items were missing, follow the supplemental claim process and include any contractor estimates and receipts.
  • If you are moving around, be sure your agent has your current contact information.
  • Document your claims process. At each step, you should keep clear records of your attempts to resolve issues. Write down names and titles, dates of contact, contact information and details of your discussions.

Follow up

  • The NFIP policy requires policy holders to submit a signed proof of loss within 60 days. Adjusters generally complete this process as a courtesy. NFIP policy provisions require that an insurance company pay claims within 60 days of receiving the policy holder’s proof of loss or within 90 days after the insurance adjuster’s report is received (in lieu of the proof of loss). In some severe floods, such as those brought by Hurricane Sandy, FEMA may authorize extensions. For Hurricane Sandy, this time limit has been extended as follows: The covered loss will be payable as soon as practicable after the insurer receives and reviews the adjuster’s report. To allow sufficient time for policy holders to evaluate their losses and have the opportunity to seek additional standard flood insurance policy payments, policy holders have one year from the date of loss to submit a proof of loss. This is extended from the normal 60-day period due to the extenuating circumstances.
  • When speaking to your agent or adjuster, get a timeframe for the next step in the process. If things are taking longer than expected, follow up with phone calls.
  • Phone numbers for companies that write policies for coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program are available online at www.nfipiservice.com/storm_sandy.html .

Take further action

  • If you believe your insurance company has incorrectly paid your claim or provided you with a written denial of your claim or part of it, you may follow a four-step appeal process provided by the National Flood Insurance Program. Information on appeals is included in your policy and online at www.floodsmart.gov/toolkits/flood/downloads/AppealingFloodInsuranceClaim_FINAL.pdf .
  • The New York Department of Financial Services is charged with regulating the state’s insurance industry and protecting consumers against fraud. As a regulatory agency, the department licenses insurance agents, insurance adjusters (including public adjusters) and insurance companies in order for them to conduct insurance related business in New York. The department has set up a Storm Sandy hotline to assist policyholders during the claim process. The number is 800-339-1759.

Additional information about flood insurance is available at www.floodsmart.gov or by visiting a mitigation advisor at one of the disaster recovery centers.

Five of New York’s largest banks and mortgage services will have representatives available to offer one-on-one help for homeowners seeking release of Hurricane Sandy insurance settlement funds at the Department of Financial Services’ Disaster Assistance Centers March 4-9. Details are available at www.governor.ny.gov/press/02282013DFS-Program .