What to do after suffering flood damage ?
What to do now? How should I document my loss?
1. Homeowners Insurance does not cover Flood. Do Not file a Homeowner's Insurance claim that will only get denied, and will count against your record.. If your home is flooded, you need Flood insurance through the NFIP to cover the loss.
2. While Adjusters are en-route, it will take longer than usual for inspections due to the extent of the damage...Be patient, as they are working countless overtime hours and they are doing as much as possible.
3. You have a duty to protect your home from further damage, which includes removal of the wet / damaged carpet, pad, drywall, & insulation. Take pictures first, lots of pictures and video. Preferably get a picture that shows the height of the water line with a tape measure showing how much water entered your home. If you can get a water mitigation company to remove damaged building materials, that is the best option. You will only be reimbursed $7.25/HR for any work you do, so it is best to hire someone and let the NFIP reimburse you/them for this work. Keep in mind, however, that this amount of removal will count toward your policy limit. Understand what cost(s) will be billed to you prior to agreeing to any work that is performed.
4. DO NOT throw anything away. Keep all discarded personal property items/possessions, etc. on site. Even if just in bags in your back yard, DO NOT throw anything away until your Adjuster has the opportunity to inspect and document your loss. If items are discarded, you may not be reimbursed for these.
5. Spray all wall cavities with a anti-microbial agent. You can get this at any hardware store to use in a pump sprayer. If stores are sold out, mix 5-10% bleach with water. Try your best to prevent mold from growing.
6. Try to get both fans (air movers) and dehumidifiers running in the home. The fans move the air & the dehumidifier pulls the moisture out of the air. You can buy or rent this equipment.
7. Flood insurance does Not pay for Additional Living Expenses (hotels or meal expenses), so be aware of this as you incur those expenses.
8. Keep track of everything, FEMA will also be in the area and offer assistance to residents. They will want documentation of everything that your spend.
9. Keep an accurate record of everything that you do. You will be required to fill out a Proof of Loss form for the NFIP in order to receive your initial payment - this initial payment/settlement is NOT a Final Payment - you are always eligible to file for a supplemental claim, with the assistance of a Contractor and/or Consulting firm. You should have an accurate estimate of the complete damages to your home to compare with what settlement you get from the NFIP. If you have a formal estimate provided by a Contractor or Consulting firm, and are not reimbursed for the total amount of your loss, you may be able to submit this information for tax purposes of an "Unreimbursed Insurance Loss".
10. NEVER sign a final settlement/payment form.
Contact us for any assistance or consultation that is necessary.