When you file a claim for flood damage, the insurance company generally requires that you also submit a “Proof of Loss” within a set period of time. This document essentially acts as your official statement that you truly lost what you lost in the flood, and it’s important that you take care as you prepare it.
When a Proof of Loss isn’t filled out, signed, or handled correctly under the terms of your policy, the insurance company can reject it—and that means that your claim can end up taking longer and being more complicated than expected. When a Proof of Loss isn’t filled out accurately, your claim may be ultimately rejected or underpaid. This is why, if you have a property that was damaged by flooding, it’s worth taking the time to learn more about preparing a Proof of Loss.
What Is Proof of Loss in a Flood Insurance Claim?
A Proof of Loss is a document, signed by you and notarized, that states what you lost and how much you are requesting from the insurance company for your losses. This usually is accompanied by supporting documentation, such as estimates, receipts, etc., that shows your request for losses is accurate and true.
Sometimes, the insurance company will provide you with appropriate Proof of Loss forms—but even if the form is not directly provided, submitting a properly completed form is still one of your duties as a policyholder during an insurance claim. In cases of minor damage, the insurance company may waive the need for a Proof of Loss statement, but you shouldn’t assume the adjuster doesn’t need it just because he or she didn’t ask for the form or explain it.
Keep in mind that the Proof of Loss is separate from the actual claim form, and it’s possible to have a single flood claim that requires you to put together several different Proof of Loss forms for different kinds of damage or coverage. If you have any questions about what you’re required to submit or when, you should:
- Review your flood insurance policy.
- Call your insurance company to ask questions.
- Research the relevant laws in your local area.
How Long Do I Have to File a Proof of Loss for Flood Damage?
Generally, under the National Flood Insurance Policy, policyholders in Texas have 60 days to submit their Proofs of Loss. However, the deadline is sometimes extended by FEMA after very damaging or widespread floods, such as the 2016 spring flooding in Texas. In some cases, the policyholder may also request an individual deadline extension for hardship.
If additional damages are found after you’ve submitted or signed a Proof of Loss, you aren’t necessarily out of luck. You may be able to submit a supplemental Proof of Loss that includes the additional damages that were not included on the initial form.
How Can I Get Help With a Difficult Flood Insurance Claim?
Proof of Loss requirements can be confusing, and they’re a common source of questions from policyholders. Even with an extended deadline, policyholders who have weathered a flooding disaster can struggle to provide adequate proof of all their losses and get payment for their claims. If you have questions about putting together a Proof of Loss or signing any forms the flood insurance company gives you, don’t wait any longer to research your rights. You can learn more by downloading our free book, Tricks of the Trade, or calling the Voss Law Firm today at 1-888-614-7730.