Insurance is a special type of contract. The consumer pays premiums to the insurance company. In return, the insurance company pays benefits to the consumer if one of the things that the consumer is paying premiums to protect against – like damage from a flood – occurs. But because of the special nature of the relationship between the insurance company and the insured, an insurance company may not engage in the same type of free-wheeling profit motivation (oftentimes to the detriment to the party on the other side of the transaction) that other for-profit companies might employ. Instead an insurance company owes a special duty to its insured.
Or so the theory goes.
It seems that many Louisiana flood victims are now wondering what the point of all of those premiums were as they are receiving offers from their flood insurance companies that are woefully inadequate to fully repair their flooded homes. What are flood victims supposed to do now? Here are a few ideas based on recent questions I have received from flood victims unhappy with the offers they have received from their flood insurance companies.
- Don’t Miss The Deadlines To Complete And Provide A Proof Of Loss.
Deadlines under the NFIP are real. Failure to meet those deadlines have serious repercussions. FEMA has granted an extension for Louisiana National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policyholders affected by the Great Flood of 2016 to file proof-of-loss claims.
Flood victims now have 120 days from the date of loss to file a flood insurance claim. The extension doubles the 60-day deadline NFIP usually requires for policyholders to submit a fully documented, signed and sworn proof-of-loss claim.
So whatever you do, don’t let the deadline pass without filing your Proof of Loss form.
- Don’t Accept Your Flood Insurance Companies’ Evaluation If It’s Not Fair.
Just because your adjuster was sent by your insurance company, showed up, shook your hand, walked around your house, and did an evaluation doesn’t make his evaluation correct. Maybe the adjuster who evaluated your home was overworked. Or undertrained. Or unqualified. Or maybe his evaluation was not accepted by his supervisors. Regardless of the reason for the low evaluation, it’s the insurance company’s evaluation — not necessarily the correct evaluation. If it’s not right, it’s not right. Don’t accept it as a final payment.
- Have Something To Compare To The Insurance Company’s Evaluation And To Include In Your Proof of Loss.
To fully complete your Proof of Loss, and to combat a low evaluation by your insurance company, you need data. The best data is an independent evaluation by your own adjuster. An adjuster will look at your entire property, and perhaps photos of the damage and other evidence (such a carpet scraps, moldings, or flooring samples) to determine what the true costs of replacement are. Without that type of data, you will be left arguing that the flood insurance company’s evaluation isn’t right — but not why it’s not right.
4. Know That You Have The Right To Get Full And Fair Payments from Your Flood Insurance Company.
As we have stated in another post, recovery from the Great Flood will take money — money to rebuild homes, replace furnishings, and remake devastated communities. Flood insurance is intended to do just that. It’s the deal the insurance company struck in exchange for receiving years of premiums from you. If you need any help in obtaining full and fair compensation from your flood insurance company, visit www.louisianafloodclaims.com and let us know what help we can provide.
J. R. Whaley understands the law and how to get results in litigation. His reputation for quality and results means you can trust him to get the best results for your case. In addition to complex litigation cases, J. R. also has years of experience working on serious personal injury cases including death, financial injury cases and disputes between insurance companies and their policy holders.