As the November 14 deadline draws near for filing flood damage claims, survivors may have questions or need additional information regarding any determination their insurer might make regarding their claim.
If an insurer sends a written denial of the claim or part of a claim, an owner can appeal this determination. To file an appeal, follow these four steps:
• Talk with the adjuster first regarding any questions about the claim.
• If a satisfactory resolution isn’t reached, get contact information for the adjuster’s supervisor.
• If the adjuster’s supervisor can’t resolve the issues, contact the insurance company’s claim representative. Ask the insurance agent or company representative for assistance.
• If questions or concerns remain after steps one through three are completed, send a written letter to FEMA within 60 days from the date the denial letter was received from the flood insurer. Address this letter to:
Federal Insurance Administration
1800 South Bell Street
Arlington, VA 20598-3010
The letter should be written by the person named on the NFIP policy or by their legal representative. If someone other than the policy owner writes the letter, clearly identify the relationship to the insured.
The letter of appeal must contain the following six items:
• Policy Number as shown on the NFIP policy declarations page
• Policyholder’s name as shown on the NFIP policy declarations page
• Property address as shown on the NFIP policy declarations page (not a mailing address)
• Contact information—where and how the policyholder can be reached
• Complete details of the concerns
• Dates of contact and contact details for the person(s) spoken with in steps one through three
Documentation of everything that supports the appeal should also be included, including a copy of the insurer’s written denial and a statement of the basis of the appeal. (Keep originals, send only copies.)
Examples of the kinds of documentation that FEMA requires can be found in the FEMA Flood Insurance Claims Handbook and downloaded at: http://tinyurl.com/pp8vz4l
Register with FEMA by phone, 800-621-3362, from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m., MDT, seven days a week; or online: DisasterAssistance.gov. Multilingual phone operators are available on the FEMA helpline. Choose Option 2 for Spanish and Option 3 for other languages.
People who have a speech disability or are deaf or hard of hearing may call (TTY) 800-462-7585; users of 711 or Video Relay Service can call 800-621-3362.
Register by Web-enabled device, tablet or smartphone: type m.fema.gov in the browser.