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Proof-of-loss deadline extended for ‘Meteorological Event Sandy’

Tue Oct 15th, 2013 on     Insurance Claims,    

The Miami Herald reported recently that a group of Florida seventh-graders were staging a hurricane simulation. They would learn how to prepare for and recover from a storm. For those of us who have been in Florida for a while, the idea of having to simulate a hurricane sounds a little odd, until you realize that these kids have not experienced a major storm in their young lives — at least, not one they remember.

The Northeast and much of the Atlantic Seaboard do not go through hurricane simulations, but, if the aftermath of “Meteorological Event Sandy” — the government’s term for the superstorm — is any indication, they could have used a little advanced training, especially when it comes to figuring out flood insurance.

For example, policyholders may not have realized that they had an important deadline coming up. The Federal Emergency Management Agency was asking for claimants to file a proof-of-loss form by the first anniversary of the date of loss. The storm hit the coast of New Jersey on Oct. 29, 2012, so that deadline was just around the corner.

On Oct. 1, 2013, however, FEMA issued a bulletin extending the deadline by six months. The stated reason is that policyholders have had trouble pulling together the information. There was no mention of the federal shutdown. In some cases, though, the extension just gives policyholders until April to be surprised that they need to fill out yet another form.

A proof-of-loss form is essentially a list of everything lost or damaged during the “covered event,” in this case Meteorological Event Sandy, that the policyholder is including in his or her claim

No big deal, right? 

That depends. 

We’ll continue this in our next post.

Sources: 

Insurance Journal, “New York to Compensate Storm Victims for NFIP’s ‘Earth Movement’ Exclusion,” David B. Caruso, Sept. 30, 2013

FEMA, “Memorandum re Further Extension of the Standard Flood Insurance Policy’s Proof of Loss Time Requirement Included in the November 9, 2012, Bulletin W-12092a,” David L. Miller, Oct. 1, 2013

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