Ahhhh, No flood insurance!

For the ones first hearing that your recently flooded home doesn’t have flood insurance, I have the greatest sympathy.  The pit at the bottom of your stomach, the buzzing in your head, the daze is completely normal.  Not much comforting can be said in this time period, the only comfort is company, to have caring people walking alongside of you.

So what do you do if you have no insurance?

A good situation for most is for your area to be declared a FEMA (Federal Emergency Managament Agency) disaster area.  At that point some funding, housing assistance, and lending may be available to you.  This won’t be near as substantial as if you had flood insurance, but it gets the ball rolling.  I am copying a note circulated in my local insurance agents office as of this week.

“If your client DOES NOT have a Flood Policy no denial letter from State Farm is necessary in order to receive FEMA assistance.  Please give them the FEMA information below. When they call FEMA they will be put into the registration system for possible government assistance.  We talked to a FEMA rep this morning who believes there will be a FEMA disaster declared in this area—the sooner the clients can get into the register with FEMA the better.”

www.fema.gov 1-800-621-3362  FEMA phone

After your area is declared, here is what you need when you call.

· Pen & Paper

· Date of loss

· Name and ss#

· Address & Phone #

· Homeowners Insurance info

· Gross annual hh income

· It is about a 30min interview on the phone with a FEMA rep

What else is there?

Many community organizations in the meantime will be helping out with cleanouts, and reconstruction.  Feel free to share sources for this. Apart from churches and local organizations, try Red Cross, and Hands on Nashville.  Here is another great link from the Nashville Business Journal on who is helping out in the area.

Remember, If your basement or low lying portion of your home had water damage due to water intrusion from a storm, your home owners insurance may cover the damage.  The key here is that it is not a “flood.” Be honest about your situation, but if your basement filled just due to rain, or if your roof failed due to the amount of rain, call your agent. If 13 inches of rain caused a problem in your homes barrier that wasn’t caused by neglect of deferred maintenance, call your agent.  You may get some relief.  Remember, document, document, document.  Have pictures, video  etc of whatever damage you have.

Keep your head up, follow every option open to you.  And please, ask if you need help!

Wait, I have flood insurance, what to I do? Read Here

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One Response to Ahhhh, No flood insurance!

  1. Damion Loew May 6, 2010 at 9:31 PM #

    Chris,

    I can’t agree with you more regarding the documentation aspect. Here are some tips to help with photo documenting:
    1. If using a digital camera (who doesn’t anymore?), make sure the date is correct
    2. Take overlapping pictures of all areas of damage
    3. Use a flash if in a dimly lit area or crawlspace
    4. Try to include some point of reference, i.e. a tree that can be seen through a window, etc., so that two identical looking rooms can be distinguished
    5. Keep two copies of the photos in separate locations in the event you have a hard drive failure. Skydrive from Microsoft offers free online storage.

    If further assistance is needed, contact a professional photo-documentation company like Multivista.

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