Answering Your NFIP Flood Insurance Coverage Questions

September 27, 2017

Answering Your NFIP Flood Insurance Coverage Questions

By: Caroline Maida

From the time Mostyn Law got involved in the Hurricane Sandy litigation in New York and New Jersey in 2014, I have personally reviewed thousands of insured’s flood claim files, and we were able to help almost all those policyholders settle their claim with their insurance company and FEMA. After looking through those thousands of files and working with FEMA and National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) adjusters, I’ve seen almost* everything (*I say almost because FEMA and the NFIP have an innate ability to surprise me).

Since Hurricane Sandy and the unprecedented, widespread fraud on policyholders that our firm uncovered, which was detailed on 60 Minute’s The Storm After The Stormwe have been dedicated to educating home and business owners covered by these government-backed policies.  After historic flooding here in our own backyard in 2015 (Memorial Day floods) and 2016 (Tax Day floods), and now after Hurricane Harvey in 2017, Steve has allowed me and our team here at Mostyn Law to hold free educational seminars, provide free consultations, host employee clinics for private businesses, public offices and union members, and give general flood insurance advice to home and business owners across Southeast Texas (and the country!) who call our office daily.

We’ve answered thousands of questions, but no doubt, the number one question home and business owners have for us is:
My adjuster/insurance company said that my flood insurance policy doesn’t cover [insert favorite denial here], is that true?!

My answer can usually be found in one of the standard flood insurance policy forms, but here are some general guidelines:

Standard Flood Insurance Policies for your dwelling (fancy word for home) or business do not cover these most frequently asked about items:

This is by no means an exhaustive list of items your policy does not, or may not, cover. FEMA’s standard flood insurance policies are long, detailed, and often confusing. NFIP adjusters are given a crash course after major disasters like Hurricane Harvey and they are sent on their way to adjust your claim. Adjusters have what I call “default answers” – meaning, the answers they use when they’re pretty sure some damage is not covered, and you ask why not (you may have heard, “sorry that’s not covered because your water line didn’t get high enough to physically touch it.” …….riiight….but it’s wet?).  Please understand this is not to say that adjusters are always wrong or intentionally denying your claim; sure, there will be some bad apples, but I personally know several NFIP adjusters who are very knowledgeable, genuinely care, and want to do what’s right, giving you the best chance to get what you’re entitled to. But before you give up your right to payment based on the word of an adjuster who may, or may not, be correct about your coverage, be sure you double check your policy and know your legal rights. Here are some additional resources you may find helpful for general NFIP flood coverage questions:

If you ever find yourself in a tough position, unable to figure out if you’re entitled to compensation for your damaged property that is being denied by your insurance company, or your adjuster’s advice just doesn’t “sound right,” please do not give up without first consulting an experienced, legal professional.

As attorneys representing home and business owners, we have seen the damage, devastation, and disruptions that hurricanes and storms can cause. We have represented thousands of clients against insurance companies that have tried to avoid and delay payment for legitimate losses our clients have incurred.
Do you have property damage related to Hurricane Harvey? We focus on representing the policyholder and making sure you are treated fairly. Contact us today to discuss your claim or if you have any questions. Please use our Free Case Evaluation Form below or call us at 713-714-0000.
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