News & Media
Drone footage shows road destruction from Hurricane Ian
NOAA

Waiver Can Speed Flood Relief to Homeowners

Owners with national flood insurance should get money faster: FEMA ratified a waiver of the full-claims process after Gov. DeSantis and CFO Patronis requested it.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) authorized the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to approve a waiver that will allow flood-insurance policyholders to access a portion of their claims without going through the full claims process.

The change is based on a request submitted by Gov. Ron DeSantis and Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis.

“FEMA granted a waiver that will allow National Flood Insurance Program policyholders to access tens-of-thousands of dollars upfront without having to go through a normal claims process or involving an adjuster,” says Patronis. “This process cuts through a lot of red tape and provides critical funding to policyholders who can provide FEMA with basic information of out-of-pocket expenses related to repair or replacement of NFIP-insured property.”

The waiver program provides NFIP Standard Flood Insurance Policy Holders $5,000 for combined building and contents losses. It can also provide up to $20,000 for policyholders who can provide photographic evidence of claims and prove that out-of-pocket expenses are related to the repair or replacement of property insured under a standard NFIP policy.

FEMA: File a flood claim now – don’t wait

The quick waiver is not a substitute for a full flood-insurance reimbursement, and FEMA issued a release suggesting that Florida homeowners file a claim sooner rather than later.

“Anyone affected by Hurricane Ian who has an NFIP flood insurance policy and has suffered flood damage should begin filing their claim now, even if you have not returned home yet,” FEMA says in the release.

Policyholders who evacuated can start the flood insurance claims process even if they only suspect flood damage. They can start the process now and provide specifics later after local officials say it’s safe to return.

NFIP policyholders should contact their insurance agent or company to file a claim. Information about filing a claim, documenting damage, working with your flood insurance adjuster, making repairs and understanding your claim payment is available on FEMA.gov.

Policyholders who don’t know their insurance agent or company can call (877) 336-2627.

Policyholders should also ask their insurance company about the advance waiver payments.

Flood insurance and homeowners’ insurance work independently. Floridians impacted by Hurricane Ian need to file two separate claims: a homeowner’s insurance claim for wind damage and a flood insurance claim. The policies may be with two different insurance companies.

Anyone with a recently expired flood policy should ask their agent if they’re still within a renewal grace period. If so, they may be able to renew and have their Ian losses covered.

© 2022 Florida Realtors®