The Federal Emergency Management Agency has responded to Hurricane Maria by issuing various announcements to speed up the receipt of funds by the insured and to extend the grace period for renewals of Standard Flood Insurance Policies (SFIP). The announcements include:
- Advance Payments can be made to policyholders (FEMA Bulletin w-17056)
- Verbal and electronic requests for Advance Payments of up to $5,000 will be acceptable upon verification of the identity of the requester.
- Payments of up to $20,000 can be made by a WYO insurer if the policyholder provides photographs of the flood damage and evidence of out-of-pocket expenses, such as receipts, or a contractor’s itemized damage estimate.
- Policyholders will not be required to complete and sign the Advanced Payment Agreement.
- Proof of Loss (FEMA Bulletin w-17057)
- FEMA waived the proof of loss requirement. Insurers are permitted to accept an adjuster’s report to pay claims. Insurers must provide the policy holders with a copy of the adjuster’s report, the Adjuster Report Claim Payment Letter, and if the payment is less than the adjuster’s report an explanation of the discrepancy. Policy holders are also not required to sign the adjuster’s report and may still submit a proof of loss requesting supplemental payments.
- 60-day deadline for submitting a proof of loss was extended to 365 days from the date of the loss.
- WYO Companies have been directed to “pay claims more quickly.”
30-day grace period for renewals of Standard Flood Insurance Policies (SFIP) was extended to 120 days. The extension applies to policies with expiration dates on or between August 7, 2017, and October 18, 2017. The extension also applies to policies that received underpayment notices. (FEMA Bulletin w-17060)