FEMA Announces Proof of Loss Extension to December 31, 2017!

FEMA has extended the Proof of Loss deadline, giving flood insured Louisiana homeowners more time to submit their Proof of Loss. The new deadline is December 31, 2017.

Now that the Proof of Loss deadline has been extended, you can still Get Flood Help submitting a supplemental proof of loss claim to get the money you deserve from your flood insurance company. We urge everyone who has not taken action to act now.  

Even if you’ve already received money, your repairs are complete, or you think your claim is closed, it isn’t too late. We represent hundreds of homeowners, and are getting your neighbors more money from flood insurance. Don’t leave potentially tens of thousands of your hard-earned dollars on the table. If you did not receive policy limits, you may have been underpaid. Call us today for a free claim review.

Call 225-29-FLOOD (225-293-5663)

For your convenience, we have included a link to FEMA’s official announcement granting the extension.

FEMA GRANTS PROOF OF LOSS EXTENSION

You can also view The Advocate article announcing the extension here.

The Advocate: Insurance commissioner asks FEMA to give flood victims more time to file insurance claims

Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon has asked FEMA to give victims of the August 2016 flood until Dec. 31 to file claims with the National Flood Insurance Program.

Last year’s catastrophe generated the fourth-highest damages in NFIP history, with about 30,000 policyholders filing claims, Donelon said in an Aug. 22 letter to David Maurstad, FEMA’s assistant administrator for federal insurance. The deadline for filing a proof of loss claim or a supplemental proof of loss claim has been extended four times and is now Sept. 1.

U.S. Sens. Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy also sent an extension request to FEMA.

As he has in previous requests for extension, Donelon asked FEMA for more time to help people who have already filed a claim but haven’t completed repairs. Frequently when those repairs are done contractors uncover additional damage, which policyholders did not include in their original claim.

“As we approach the Sept. 1 deadline … there are still thousands of victims of that flood dealing with their contractors and the challenges presented by their repair efforts in a very tight construction market,” Donelon says in the letter.

FEMA’s most recent figures show more than 29,647 claims were filed and 104 are left to process. The National Flood Insurance Program has paid $2.4 billion to policyholders, with the average payment at $88,300.

The NFIP claims payments are part of $5 billion in federal disaster assistance and low-interest disaster loans made in Louisiana since the flood. More than 83,000 households were eligible for FEMA assistance, and the agency has approved about $772 million in aid for flood survivors.

– Ted Griggs, The Advocate

Read the original story here. 

Public News: Cassidy, Kennedy Request Extension Of National Flood Insurance Program Proof Of Loss Deadline

Today, US Senators Bill Cassidy, MD (R-LA) and John Kennedy (R-LA) sent a letter to FEMA, requesting the September 1 deadline for National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policyholders to file a Proof of Loss (POL) claim be extended. Policyholders have faced delays in filing original and supplemental POLs associated with the Great Flood of 2016 that affected thousands of Louisianans.

‘This was a disaster. Some homeowners have been unable to get their records in a timely fashion from contractors,’ said Dr. Cassidy. ‘We shouldn’t punish them-we should give them help. Extending this deadline gives them help.’

‘The flood hit people in Louisiana suddenly, catching them by surprise. We need to give flood victims as much time as possible to determine their losses,’ said Sen. Kennedy. ‘I’m hopeful FEMA will give folks just a little more time since they are still reeling from this disaster.’

To read the letter, click here.

On June 6, 2017, Cassidy introduced legislation to reauthorize the NFIP which included a provision to extend the 60 day proof of loss submission deadline to 180 days.

Reforming Proof of Loss requirements. The bill changes the way Proof of Loss functions. Some legal teams representing the WYO companies applied this definition in a draconian way. As it currently stands, homeowners have to submit a Proof of Loss within 60 days that requires them essentially to present all of their evidence of damage. This burden is not fair, particularly because homeowners generally rely entirely on the WYO to figure out the scope of damage and draft the Proof of Loss statement. We change the 60-day Proof of Loss requirement to a loss notice provision. It gives the WYO timely notice and plenty of time to give a fair estimate.

Sec. 601. Institutes Deadlines for NFIP Claims Determinations. Requires NFIP administrators to make determinations on flood claims within 30 days of the initial filing, followed by any payment owed under the claim. Prevents claims denial based on Proof of Loss requirements. Establishes notice of a claim deadline within 60 days and moves the proof of loss deadline to 180 days.

 

Read the original article here. 

WBRZ: Proof of loss deadline approaching for those with flood insurance

BATON ROUGE- An important deadline is coming up if you had flood insurance but don’t feel like you were compensated fairly by your insurance company.

This week, Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon asked the feds for another extension for the National Flood Insurance Program’s proof of loss deadline.

Currently, this affects $30,000 people who flooded last August. The necessary paperwork must be submitted before September 1 if an extension isn’t granted.

Darlene Taillon just moved back into her home after 26 inches of water swamped her home. As Harvey churns in the Gulf, she’s concerned about more rain.

“Just wondering if we will flood again,” Taillon said.

Taillon is one of the area’s 30,000 residents that did have flood insurance last August, but it wasn’t enough.

“It did not cover everything,”Taillon said.

Even after she received her payout, the Taillons had to come out of pocket $12,000 to make up what insurance didn’t pay for. Raj Pandit is currently representing more than 800 residents in our area who believe their insurance company underpaid them for damages in the August flood. As he began looking into what happened, he found the adjusters coming out to tally damages were getting paid per house. The more houses they assessed the more money they made.

“There’s an incentive to do it fast, and when you do it fast, you often times don’t do it well,” Pandit said. “Especially for something as tedious as adjusting.”

A fee schedule on FEMA’s website backs up what Pandit is talking about. According to FEMA, adjusters can make $1,640 for any claim written at less than $50,000. Although adjusters make more money the higher the claim, those take more time according to Pandit. It’s why he says so many residents feel disenfranchised by the money they received.

“The larger the damage they write, the more money they get paid,” Pandit said. “On the surface, that is a true statement. But, in reality, they have so many claims to go through, it’s easier for them to write seven to ten average claims a day then to write two claims very thoroughly.”

Tonight, a deadline to recoup money that you may have missed out on is fast approaching. Tuesday, Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon sent a letter to the feds. Part of it reads,”there are still thousands of victims of that flood dealing with contractors and the challenges presented by their repair efforts in a very tight construction market.” For those reasons, Donelon asked for a deadline of December 31st so people can assess their costs and continue to rebuild.

For people like Taillon, she’s done fighting and is willing to swallow the $12,000 insurance didn’t pick up to have peace.

“We always knew we had loving family and friends but everybody, the community, it’s not just us,” Taillon said. “Everyone came together.”

According to figures by Donelon, the flood last August was the fourth worst event in the nation’s history. The Department of Insurance says they’re hoping to hear back from the feds about an extension in a few days.

– Chris Nakamoto, WBRZ

Read the original story here. 

WDSU: Extension sought for 2016 flood victims to file claims, Louisiana NAACP now involved

It was one of the worst floods to hit Louisiana, the one that devastated hundreds of homeowners last summer in the Baton Rouge area.

But a deadline is fast approaching for people who need more money for repairing their damage. The Federal Emergency Management Agency declared 20 parishes federal disaster areas.

Some said millions of dollars could potentially be left on the table. Flood victims said they haven’t fully recovered from last year’s flood and are dealing with major problems with their insurance companies.

Residents and the head of the state NAACP are urging the state to extend a Sept. 1 deadline to file a claim. It’s a deadline that many people are unaware even exists.

Some flood victims said the money they’ve received from their insurance carriers is not adequate and is well below the damage total. Last August, floodwater destroyed hundreds of homes in the Baton Rouge area.

The damage total: Well into the hundreds of millions of dollars.

The flooding was called once-in-a-lifetime by the governor. Louisiana residents must submit what’s called a proof of loss form required for a flood insurance claim.

The proof of loss form — a sworn statement made by the policyholder — is part of the requirement for a flood claim to be processed. That’s why it’s important to file before the Sept. 1 deadline.

Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon also formally asked FEMA to extend the deadline.

“The Sept. 1 proof of loss deadline is so important because if homeowners let this deadline pass without submitting a supplemental claim, then the insurance company on a technicality, could forever bar the homeowner from getting the money they’re owed,” said Raj Pandit, owner of the Pandit Law Firm in New Orleans.

Pandit said if homeowners do not get what they’re owed, he is prepared to file more than 700 federal lawsuits against insurance carriers.

“I know a lot of people around here who don’t know anything about a deadline, and that is very unfortunate … I wish I could go around door to door and tell everybody,” said Virginia Firmin, who lives in Denham Springs.

The Louisiana chapter of the NAACP issued a letter Wednesday, asking the insurance commission to extended the Sept. 1 deadline.

– Travers Mackel, WDSU News

Read the original article here. 

WWL: Another extension sought for Aug. ’16 flood victims

Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon has asked FEMA for a fifth deadline extension for victims of the August 2016 floods to file their sworn proof of loss claims.

Donelon sent the letter Tuesday, requesting that the deadline to be pushed back from Sept. 1 to Dec. 31. Unless FEMA agrees, Sept. 1 is the date by which flood victims must have their final losses certified and itemized for reimbursement from their insurers, who administer the government’s National Flood Insurance Program on FEMA’s behalf.

Usually, flood victims have 60 days from a flood event to get their losses confirmed and a sworn proof of loss form filed with FEMA. But extensions are often granted for major floods. Victims of Hurricane Sandy, for example, got two years to file their final proof of loss claims.

Donelon has already succeeded in convincing FEMA to give Louisiana victims a full year to file their final claims forms by arguing that the flooding in the Baton Rouge area and other parts of south Louisiana was one of the largest flood disasters in the 50-year history of the federal flood insurance program.

“I am told by my staff that there are still thousands of victims of that flood dealing with contractors and the challenges presented by their repair efforts in a very tight construction market,” Donelon wrote to FEMA’s assistant NFIP chief, David Maurstad.

Almost 30,000 Louisiana residents have filed claims with the NFIP. Donelon attached photographs of ongoing repair efforts to illustrate the challenges Louisiana flood victims are still facing.

– David Hammer, WWLTV

© 2017 WWL-TV

Read the original article here. 

We’re Getting Your Neighbors More Money From Flood Insurance

…But there’s still time for you to get the money you’re owed!

Louisiana-Based Flood Insurance Specialist Raj Pandit is currently helping hundreds of underpaid homeowners and business owners maximize their flood insurance claims. Raj played a pivotal role in extending the Proof of Loss Deadline to September 1, 2017, and he continues to fight to get what the insured homeowners are owed from flood insurance.

Did you receive substantial damage in the August flooding? Owed for rewiring? Upper cabinets not paid for? Sheathing damage? House still smells like mold? We want to help you get more!

Don’t wait, let us handle it from here. It’s time to rebuild.

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Frequently Asked Questions

 

We are always happy to answer questions from clients and interested parties. Here, find our most frequently asked questions and the answers to each!

Download the free ebook here! 

  • Do I have a claim?
    You likely have a claim if you have insurance and if your home or building has flooded.
  • How can we help?
    We’re flood lawyers. We understand flood law and have experience representing clients in some of the most devastating flood disasters in the United States. We have first-hand knowledge of what it’s like to lose everything, so we know how to fight flood insurance companies to help you repair your home. Receive a FREE CASE REVIEW today by one of our experienced attorneys.
  • Do I still have a case if I have already moved into a new home?
    Even if you have moved into a new home, your flood insurance company still owes you for any underpayment related to the policy on your old house. However, if you have moved it might affect how we handle your case.
  • Does the check also get written to my mortgage company?
    If you have a mortgage, your mortgage company will also be on the check.
  • How long does the process take?
    Every claim is different, but we will start the process immediately and send one of our expert adjusters to your home. We don’t get paid until you get paid, so we are incentivized to go as fast as possible and get you the most money possible.
  • What is your success rate?
    In other flood events, we have been very successful in helping homeowners recover new money.
  • How much do you charge?
    If we don’t get an additional $10,000 in new money then we work for free. For every $10,000 or more we recover in new money, you get 70% and your legal team gets 30%. NO questions asked. NO extra costs. NO
    hidden fees. Just a flat percentage. We do not get anything that you recover before you hire us.
  • What happens if I don’t have flood insurance?
    Unfortunately we are only able to help homeowners with flood insurance at this time. However, there are a variety of resources available to you even if you do not have flood insurance. FEMA maintains a website with many useful links, including more information on assistance and housing. You can also contact your elected officials to find out more options. Information regarding Louisiana’s congressional delegation can be found at www.house.gov, and Louisiana’s senators can be found at www.senate.gov.
  • Will my insurance premiums go up if I take more money?
    Probably not! Most flood insurance policies are underwritten by the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program (“NFIP”). If your policy is underwritten by the NFIP, then the federal government sets your policy rates and premiums. The official NFIP websit provides a breakdown of typical policy premiums and coverage amounts.
  • How much is my claim worth?
    This is where having our experienced flood adjusters and flood attorneys will help provide you with the highest value for your claim. Our experienced flood team is able to find the areas of your flood claim that were underpaid. For example, if the structural portion of your residential flood insurance policy has a maximum limit of $250,000, then you could not receive more than that amount from your flood insurer for structural damage. If you could prove that your structural flood losses equal $250,000 or even that your losses are more than that amount, then you could be entitled to the full policy limit.
  • How much additional money am I entitled to?
    It depends on a variety of factors, but our goal is to help you maximize the amount of money you are entitled to if you have a claim.
  • If I already received money, can I still get more money from my flood insurance?
    MOST LIKELY! If you’ve signed and returned your original Proof of Loss, you absolutely may still be entitled to additional funds. Our team can quickly review your case for free. Contact us for more information.
  • Do you handle contents coverage?
    We do not typically handle contents coverage. However, we do help with contents coverage on a case-by-case basis. Contact us to see if you qualify.
  • What is a proof of loss form?
    A Proof of Loss form is an official document. You, the policyholder, MUST submit a Proof of Loss to your flood insurance company by the relevant deadline. In the form, you officially declare how much money you are requesting for your home’s damage. You must sign the form, swear it is accurate, and include details and documents necessary to back up the amount of money you are claiming.
  • What is the current deadline for submitting my Proof of Loss form?
    We are pleased to announce that the Proof of Loss deadline has been extended to September 1, 2017!
  • What happens if I do not submit my Proof of Loss form?
    In most cases, if you do not submit your Proof of Loss form on time you could lose your chance to get the additional money your flood insurance company owes you.
  • When should I file my Proof of Loss form?
    As soon as possible. Do not wait until the deadline. Figuring out the actual deadline can depend on a number of factors, including when your property was first damaged. Also, different courts could disagree on how to determine the deadline. Delaying is a gamble. Don’t risk losing out by waiting.

Proof of Loss Deadline Extended to September 1st

The Proof of Loss deadline has been extended to September 1, 2017. With just a few days leading up to the May 12 deadline, FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program received a request for an extension from Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon’s office. If a request for extension had not been received, tens-of-thousands of insured Louisiana homeowners would have been at risk to of being denied future insurance proceeds relating to their August 2016 flood damage.

Attorney Raj Pandit advocated through “boots on the ground” community efforts for insured homeowners to receive an additional 90-day extension. Pandit prompted Commissioner Jim Donelon to request the extension from FEMA Assistant Administrator David Maurstad. Once the request was received, Maurstad issued WYO Bulletin W-17002, granting an additional 90-day extension for policyholders to submit a complete, signed, and sworn proof of loss for their flood insurance claims caused by the historic, 1,000 year August flood. Louisiana policyholders now have until September 1, 2017 to submit their proofs of loss forms. A victory Pandit feels is well worth the fight. “Insured homeowners just want the money they are owed, and they deserve that” he explains.

Letter from Raj Pandit

This morning I created a petition on Facebook asking that the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) issue an extension of at least 90 days for August Louisiana flood victims to file their Proof of Loss (POL) documents. FEMA’s failure to grant an extension could result in tens of thousands of flooded, insured homeowners being denied any additional insurance payments for their August flood damage so that they may restore their lives.

We are petitioning FEMA to extend this deadline because thousands of homeowners either need more time to document their flood damages, and far too many homeowners simply do not understand the punitive nature of the POL deadline.

According to FEMA’s own statistics, damage to the average insured victim’s home in the August-LA flood event was 35% greater than that in Hurricane Sandy. Yet, victims of Hurricane Sandy received two full years to submit their Proofs of Loss. This is not right, and is why we are pushing FEMA to grant this extension!

For these and numerous other reasons, Louisiana homeowners need more time to file supplemental Proofs of Loss to address these issues.

Please sign our Petition (and share the following link in your social media networks):

FEMA, Extend the Proof of Loss Deadline for LA Flood Victims

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