What You Should Know About SFIP and Handling FEMA Claims

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On February 8, 2017 by Josh

Floods cause massive damage, and there is a lot of confusion surrounding the things that are allowed and not allowed during the restoration expenses of damages caused by floods. For this reason, FEMA made a memo which lists all of the major pointers that all restorers should be aware of before making use of a standard flood insurance policy (SFIP) to claim flood loss potential.

The major points that a restorer should be aware of are listed below. Knowing them provides credibility and establishes trust and reliability. You should know what benefits you can gain from a flood insurance policy.

  • SFIP does not include extraction of water from a wet carpet. If the estimate lists you have made include water extraction, it will be removed from the coverage. A general assumption is that the extraction cost is listed in the removal cost of the wet carpet; therefore, restorers must take extra care when listing items.
  • Restorers should provide a complete log of daily dryings along with the invoice. This should include the readings of non-affected and affected areas, material readings, equipment outputs, and documentations of the drying procedure. In a case where the drying logs seem to be incomplete or vague, flood adjusters will only pay reasonable costs through calculations provided by FEMA.
  • Since damage by water is considered as a category three, SFIP does not pay for the claims related to those dry building components that are removed. For example, the removal of drywall and carpet that has been affected by flood water. All the wet materials should be removed before drying equipment is installed otherwise equipment charges will not be approved.
  • SFIP does not permit ozone machines or air scrubbers.
  • The charges for content manipulations are only allowed in the case where the owner possesses contents coverage.
  • SFIP does not permit the cleaning costs of equipment.
  • SFIP does not authorize the charges of equipment for personal protection and air filtering, generators, and air movers. Such costs are included in the removal charges.
  • If the claim lists the drying of an item that is salvageable, the money to apply a preservative or a sealer on the item is not permitted unless the owner has documents that prove that a preservative or sealer had been applied before the damage.
  • If the electrical system of a building isn’t operable, then charges to rent a generator to power equipment for drying are not permitted.
  • Make sure that you fully understand that SFIP only includes costs of such contents and structures that are damaged directly by floods. It does not include any secondary damage unless access to the affected property has been restricted for an extended period.
  • In such a case where the services or the charges are deemed excessive, then the invoice is sent to an auditing company. This third party, after reviewing the claim determines the fair costs to cover damages. For this reason, it is vital that restorers adopt appropriate techniques, and that they adjust the price keeping the rules in mind.

Knowing these important rules helps a restorer not face complications during a claim, and makes them come across as competent.

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