Damage Not Covered By Homeowners' Insurance
It is important to know that homeowners' insurance generally does not cover losses due to flood damage. The only way to be reimbursed for flood damage is to purchase flood insurance. Because the Town of Vinton is a participant of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), flood insurance is available to everyone in the town.
If you live in or near a floodplain, it is highly recommended that you get information about your level of hazard and the possibility of purchasing flood insurance. You may purchase flood insurance even if you do not live in a floodplain.
Items Generally Covered by Flood Insurance
- Building in the course of construction
- Contents of structures (available to owners and renters)
- Manufactured homes or travel trailers, if anchored to a permanent foundation
- Walled and roofed structures principally above the ground
Items Generally Not Covered by Flood Insurance
- Buildings completely over water
- Buildings more than 50% below ground
- Gas and liquid storage tanks
- Motorized vehicles
- Swimming pools, hot tubs, etc.
- Unanchored manufactured homes
National Flood Insurance Program Coverage
Having an adjuster with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) come to your home isn't the same as having your homeowners' insurance agent or a FEMA inspector assess your damages.
FEMA Individual Assistance (IA), homeowners' insurance and flood insurance are three different programs. Homeowners' and business insurance policies usually don't cover flood damage.
Disaster officials recommend:
- If you have flood insurance, call your agent right away.
- If you have homeowners insurance, call your agent right away.
- If you had damages and haven't registered with FEMA, do so right away.
Receiving a Claim Inspection
Receiving a flood claim inspection, registering with the local emergency management agency, registering with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM), the Red Cross, or with any other charitable organization is not the same as registering with FEMA or having a homeowners' or flood insurance policy.
If you have dual insurance, you need to contact both your homeowners' insurance and your NFIP flood insurance agent as well as register with FEMA to initiate individual recovery assistance.
After contacting your flood insurance agent, the claims process begins with your sending in 'proof of loss' paperwork. The flood claim process commonly follows this timeline:
- An adjuster will usually call you within 24 to 48 hours after you notify your agent about the flood damage.
- Once contacted, a claims adjuster will visit to open the claim. In disasters, some adjusters may have hundreds of policy holders to service.
- Policyholders have a limited number of days after the date of the loss to file proof of loss paperwork. This sworn statement may have to be notarized.
For instance, if you send in your proof of loss at 28 days, it can take at least 14 to 20 days more after that to review and process for payment.
Processing a Claim
It can take another 20 days to process the claim for payment-and at times only a partial payment can be made.
If you have a mortgage, regulations require that homeowner payment checks be issued in both the lender and homeowner's name. Usually a bank or lender will require a construction contract or proof of pending repairs before releasing the money to you.
If you have questions regarding your insurance coverage, please contact your insurance agent.