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Steps for filing a flood insurance claim

Standard homeowner or renter's insurance does not cover flooding losses. Flood insurance is a different policy offered through the National Flood Insurance Program, but private insurance companies handle selling the policies to consumers and businesses.

According to FloodSmart.gov, NFIP's official website, those who have flood insurance and sustained damage can file a claim by following these steps:

Notify your insurer. Your first step is to contact your insurance agent or company. You will need to have your policy number and a telephone number and/or email address where you can be reached at all times.

After you communicate with your agent, an adjuster should contact you within a few days. If more than a few days goes by and you haven't heard from an adjuster, you should contact your agent or insurance company again.

Document the damage. The adjuster will need evidence of damages to create a repair estimate. According to FloodSmart. gov, you should:

● Photograph all damaged property, including discarded objects, structural damage and standing floodwater levels. In addition to taking pictures of individual objects, you should stand in the middle of each room and take pictures of the entire room from all directions.

● Make a list of all damaged or lost items. If possible, include date of purchase, value and sales receipts.

● Local officials may require you to dispose of your damaged objects, and you will want to remove waterlogged items as soon as possible to reduce mold problems. You can place such objects outside once you complete your documentation.

Complete a Proof of Loss to support your claim. Your adjuster will help you prepare a sworn statement of the amount you are claiming, including supporting documents, for your official claim. This is called a "Proof of Loss" statement.

A Proof of Loss must contain the specific details set forth in the Standard Flood Insurance Policy, and you must file it with your insurance company within 60 days of the flood.

You'll receive your claim payment after you and your insurer agree on the amount of damages and the insurer has your complete, accurate, signed Proof of Loss.

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