How to File a Claim

If you have experienced a flood, contact your agent or insurance company immediately
. They will assign a claims adjuster to help you evaluate your loss and file your flood insurance claim. Have the following information ready:

  1. The name of your insurance company
  2. Your policy number
  3. A telephone and/or email address where you can be reached at all times

If you will be going to a shelter or will be out of reach, provide your agent with a trusted point-of-contact (friend, relative) who can reach you if necessary. If an adjuster has not been assigned to you within a few days of your phone call, contact your insurance agent or company again.

Separate damaged from undamaged property
. Do not throw out damaged property before your adjuster has seen it unless it may be a health hazard or could impede local cleanup.

  • If objects must be discarded, take photos and keep samples (fabric swatches, pieces of furniture, etc.) to help substantiate your claim.
  • Take photos of standing water, both outside and inside your home or business.
  • Photograph and videotape everything—from structural damage and floodwater levels on building exteriors to building interiors and contents—to help prepare documentation of what the flooding damaged.

Make a list of all damaged or lost items
. Work with your adjuster to itemize your claim and calculate the value of the destroyed items by applying your detailed inventory against your damaged or lost property.

File a Proof of Loss within 60 days of the flood
. Your official claim for damages is called a Proof of Loss. This sworn statement, made by you, substantiates the insurance claim and is required before the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or insurance company can make payment.

  • Your adjuster should provide the form for you. However, it is your responsibility to provide your insurance company with a signed Proof of Loss within 60-days of the date of loss.
  • You must include a detailed estimate to replace or repair the damaged property, which you can obtain from your adjuster. You should both come to an agreement about the scope of damage and what needs to be repaired or replaced.

Your claim is payable after you and the insurer agree on the amount of damages and the insurer receives your complete, accurate and signed Proof of Loss. If major catastrophic flooding occurs, it may take longer to process claims and make payments because of the sheer number of claims submitted.

Remember: To stay covered, you must renew your policy each year.

Claims Assistance / Support Materials

Flood Insurance Claims Handbook [PDF 328 KB]

Tips for Filing Your Flood Insurance Claim [PDF 60 KB]

Appealing Your Flood Insurance Claim [PDF 52 KB]

After the Flood Tips from the NFIP [PDF 56 KB]

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Flood insurance is mandatory if you live in a high-risk area and have a mortgage from a federally regulated or insured lender.
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