People whose flood-damaged homes and vehicles weren't covered by flood insurance or with comprehensive auto insurance policies don't have to go through the pointless exercise of being denied a claim before applying for help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
There has been a great deal of confusion about the insurance documents FEMA requires a flood victim to have before applying for FEMA Rental Assistance or financial assistance for real or personal property disaster-caused damage, said Jeff Albright, chief executive officer of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of Louisiana. Last week, some FEMA personnel, media and social media posts incorrectly stated that flood victims first needed documentation from their insurer that the damage was not covered.
The reality is that if the only cause of the damage was flooding, and the homeowner doesn't have flood insurance, FEMA doesn't require the homeowner to file a property claim with their insurer, he said. The same is true if the person didn't have comprehensive coverage on their vehicle.
"The whole deal is if there is any possibility of coverage, you've got to turn the claim in to the insurer and find out whether or not there's coverage," Albright said. "If there's no possibility of coverage, then you don't have to go through the needless exercise of filing a claim just to get a claim denial."
FEMA issued a bulletin to its field personnel and insurance agents to clarify the issue, Albright said.