Flood insurance is primarily available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) of FEMA, in areas that have agreed to adopt a floodplain management plan. Every local area is part of the NFIP, including New York City and Long Island. FEMA offers standard insurance policies, including dwelling insurance for homeowners. The homeowners policy has two main coverages: A – the building, and an option for B – personal property. The personal property coverage is basically for things that can be carried out of the building. The dwelling coverage is for items that are a part of, or attached to the building.
FEMA adjusts losses by sending a claims rep. If the water from the above ground floor has ebbed before the claims rep arrives, he or she will measure the water line, like a bathtub ring, to test for whether there was flood damage above ground. For this reason, it is critical to photograph the water while it is above ground. The coverage is very limited for a basement. The FEMA claims rep gets 7% of the amount that FEMA pays, an incentive to the claims rep to escalate the claim. A dwelling damage claim will not be adjusted based upon any estimate gotten by the homeowner. Instead, the FEMA claims rep measures the floor and walls and identifies the other damaged building parts, and transmits the damage list to FEMA. FEMA establishes the value of the items based upon the home’s zip code and sends out payment to the owner. The homeowner is on their own with the actual cost of repair or replacement after the FEMA payment is received. If the homeowner is dissatisfied with the payment, there is a FEMA appeals process.