Sandy Survivors—Flood Insurance Deadlines Are Approaching!

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Photo: Joel Branson

If you have a flood insurance claim, you must submit a new “proof of loss”  to preserve your claim to your insurance company for what you might be still owed.  Proof of loss consists of three special forms and supporting documentation.

FEMA has extended the proof of loss deadline, stating all of this proof of loss paperwork may be “received” by the insurer by April 29, 2014 if your date of loss is Oct. 29, 2012 (or by April 28, 2014 if your date of loss is Oct. 28, 2012).

However, a second deadline – the deadline in which to file a lawsuit – may require you to both submit proof of loss and then file suit before this April 2014 extension.  The catch is that proof of loss is due before you file a lawsuit, and you have one year to file a lawsuit after your claim is denied.

At this point, FEMA has indicated that this one-year deadline to file a lawsuit starts from the “first” written “denial” that you receive.  This lawsuit deadline will vary from person-to-person, and it may pass before the April 2014 proof of loss extension.

Identifying any arguable “denial” requires ensuring that you have all insurance correspondence, and carefully review it.  We have identified some things to look for that FEMA/the flood insurers may argue start the clock.  Generally how a Court may hold on this issue is not 100% certain.  See our Insurance Checklist, the cover letter, and our November 12th update for critical information.”

If you need assistance understanding and filing your claim, Touro Law Center is offering free legal clinics and resources to help you figure out what to do.

You can visit their Disaster Law Website, to find out the location and hours of their next walk-in clinic (usually posted at the start of each week, with the clinics usually taking place at different locations on Fridays), and to download copies of the new resources.   The walk-in clinic dates and location will also be posted on the Disaster Legal Clinics Calendar.  Their public resources section, available here, features Touro’s Insurance Checklists explaining the flood insurance deadlines.

Thank you to Ben Rajotte of the Touro Law Center Disaster Relief Clinic for this information!

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