Waiver Can Speed Flood Relief to Homeowners
Article Courtesy of Florida Realtors
By Kerry Smith
October 5, 2022
Owners with national flood
insurance should get money faster: FEMA ratified a waiver of the
full-claims process after Gov. DeSantis and CFO Patronis requested it.
TALLAHASSEE – The Federal Emergency Management Agency
(FEMA) authorized the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to approve
a waiver that will allow flood-insurance policyholders to access a
portion of their claims without going through the full claims process.
The change is based on a request submitted by Gov. Ron DeSantis and
Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis.
“FEMA granted a waiver that will allow National Flood Insurance Program
policyholders to access tens-of-thousands of dollars upfront without
having to go through a normal claims process or involving an adjuster,”
says Patronis. “This process cuts through a lot of red tape and provides
critical funding to policyholders who can provide FEMA with basic
information of out-of-pocket expenses related to repair or replacement
of NFIP-insured property.”
The waiver program provides NFIP Standard Flood Insurance Policy Holders
$5,000 for combined building and contents losses. It can also provide up
to $20,000 for policyholders who can provide photographic evidence of
claims and prove that out-of-pocket expenses are related to the repair
or replacement of property insured under a standard NFIP policy.
The quick waiver is not a substitute for a full flood-insurance
reimbursement, and FEMA issued a release suggesting that Florida
homeowners file a claim sooner rather than later.
“Anyone affected by Hurricane Ian who has an NFIP flood insurance policy
and has suffered flood damage should begin filing their claim now, even
if you have not returned home yet,” FEMA says in the release.
Policyholders who evacuated can start the flood insurance claims process
even if they only suspect flood damage. They can start the process now
and provide specifics later after local officials say it’s safe to
NFIP policyholders should contact their insurance agent or company to
file a claim. Information about filing a claim, documenting damage,
working with your flood insurance adjuster, making repairs and
understanding your claim payment is available on FEMA.gov.
Policyholders who don’t know their insurance agent or company can call
Policyholders should also ask their insurance company about the advance
Flood insurance and homeowners’ insurance work independently. Floridians
impacted by Hurricane Ian need to file two separate claims: a
homeowner’s insurance claim for wind damage and a flood insurance claim.
The policies may be with two different insurance companies.
Anyone with a recently expired flood policy should ask their agent if
they’re still within a renewal grace period. If so, they may be able to
renew and have their Ian losses covered.