WHAT TO DO FIRST
- Take pictures, pictures and more pictures. With a video camera you can narrate where you acquired the items in case you can’t produce receipts. Remember that although they may have special memories important to you, it’s a material item and you may have to find a way to disassociate yourself emotionally from those memories for the purpose of your insurance flood claim.
- With digital photography, you can take as many pictures as possible and choose the best ones to use. Today’s memory devices have virtually unlimited storage so don’t be shy about taking pictures.
- Have a video camera trained on the entrance so that every item that is removed from the property is documented.
- Use a still camera picture to help document each item claimed. When you prepare your claim you can attach a JPG image file to support each item claimed.
- Many items are heirlooms with sentimental value but the standard the insurance companies are looking for is replacement cost.
- Go online to find and document the value. Printout the published price. The more documentation you have the stronger your claim.
HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE CLAIMS
If your flood damage is caused by water already on the premises such as from a plumbing problem, it is a homeowners insurance claim rather than a flood insurance claim. Flood insurance applies to surface water such as rain storms, tidal surges, and hurricanes.
In Texas, wind storm damages are covered by TWIA (Texas Windstorm Insurance Association). In a Hurricane, there are frequently two parts to the claims process: 1) the flood insurance (which is a Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) activity, and; 2) damage caused by windstorms such as broken windows, torn-off roofs.
Fallen trees, on the other hand, are typically caused by storm damage and are usually covered by homeowner’s policies.
AUTOMOBILE FLOOD CLAIMS
In general, automobile flood damage claims are covered by automobile policies. The Comprehensive part of your auto policy usually covers the flood claim, but always ask your agent.
Automobile flood claims are filed with your auto policy even if they were in your garage when they were flooded.