Louisiana is no stranger to natural disasters. Over the years, the state has been ravaged by hurricanes (such as Camille, Rita, and Katrina) and suffered terrible flooding. In August 2016, however, Louisiana endured one of the most horrific disasters in its history.
Record flooding in Louisiana began the week of August 8 and continuously came down for days after that. This in turn caused unprecedented rises in the levels of rivers around the state. To use an example, two of the United States Geologic Survey stream gauges registered streams rising 30 feet in just 2-3 days. The combination of rising rivers and record rains caused catastrophic flooding around the state, property damage, and tragic loss of lives.
If you’ve suffered flood damage to your home, whether in this recent flooding or in another event, you will have a lot of questions. Here are a handful of helpful tips about what you can do to protect your rights.
What Should You Do If You’ve Suffered Flood Damage?
1. Document All of Your Losses
While folks in Louisiana have a tendency to get right to work cleaning up following a natural disaster, you will want to document your losses first. You should make sure to take plenty of pictures of the damage and the area, such as pictures of physical damage to your home, the contents that you lost, water lines on the home, any water lines around your home. This will allow you to clearly show your insurer what you lost in the flood.
2. Contact Your Insurers Immediately
You should immediately contact your insurance company. It is critical that you put your insurers on notice of the claim. Every insurance policy is different, but as a general rule, there are deadlines for submitting a claim .
For example, FEMA typically requires claims to be submitted within 60 days of a loss. While the agency has extended these deadlines in the past, you don’t want to wait too long and jeopardize any of your rights. Here is a link to the proof of loss form used by FEMA.
3. Contact FEMA About Disaster Recovery Assistance
As was the case after Hurricane Katrina, FEMA is providing disaster assistance to those affected by the historic Louisiana flooding. Assistance can take many forms: medical expenses and housing allowances are two such areas. Click here to learn more about the disaster relief offered for flood victims.
Call a Louisiana Flood Damage Attorney
Working through an insurance claim can be overwhelming and incredibly stressful. If you need assistance with your claim or if you feel like your insurance company isn’t treating you fairly, The Mahone Firm can help.