(IMPORTANT UPDATE TO THIS POST: On February 20, 2009, the NFIP Administrator issued an additional 90-day extension to file proofs of loss for Hurricane Ike and Gustav.)
We are still receiving questions regarding Federal Flood Proofs of Loss. The Proofs of Loss have to be filled out correctly and received by certain dates, which have been extended regarding Hurricane Gustav and Hurricane Ike claims.
Here is the applicable wording from the extension letter:
Due to the recent flooding associated with Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, an extension of the 60-day period within which a proof of loss must be submitted to the Insurer has been granted. Therefore, by means of this memorandum, I am authorizing the extension of this period by 120 days. This extension shall apply to all claims for flood-insured buildings:
- In the States of Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi damaged by flood resulting from Hurricane Gustav (dates of loss August 28, 2008, and continuing); and
- In the States of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas damaged by flood resulting from Hurricane Ike (dates of loss September 11, 2008, and continuing).
The extension applies whether the SFIP was issued directly by the NFIP Servicing Agent or through one of the private insurance companies issuing flood insurance coverage under the WYO Program.
An NFIP policyholder who incurred a Gustav-related flood loss on August 28, 2008, would normally have until October 28, 2008, to submit the proof of loss. With the extended deadline, the same policyholder now has until February 25, 2009, to submit the proof of loss. Similarly, an NFIP policyholder who incurred an Ike-related flood loss on September 11, 2008, would normally have until November 10, 2008, to submit the proof of loss. With the extended deadline, the same policyholder now has until March 10, 2009, to submit the proof of loss. In either case, eligible policyholders will be allowed a total of 180 days to submit the proof of loss.
The following must be followed when completing the proofs for flood claims:
1. Use the exact Federal Form for the Proof of Loss and not a generic form. Failure to do so may jeopardize payment. It would be similar to filing a Federal Income Tax return with a state form.
2. Figure exact amounts owed. Do not put, "policy limits" or "to be determined."
3. Document the amounts owed and attach the documentation. Do not just "ballpark" or "estimate" an amount. File the proof with actual estimates, proposals, lists, or some type of documentation which "proves" and substantiates the loss amount.
4. Get it received and in the hands of the company listed on the policy by the deadline. Do not just send it to the adjuster on the deadline day.
5. Do not rely upon other oral or written extensions from the field adjuster or his supervisor. Only written extensions coming from the Director or Deputy Director can legally extend the time.
National Flood may, on appeal, rescind these requirements. If you get in this predicament, we strongly suggest you obtain legal counsel. The best course of action is to never place yourself in that position in the first place.
You can find a complete copy of the extension letter posted on my blog.