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FEMA Hurricane Harvey Updates

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has responded to Hurricane Harvey by issuing various announcements to speed up the receipt of funds by the insured. The announcements include:

    • Advance Payments can be made to policyholders (FEMA Bulletin W-17024, W-17031a)
      • 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-17030)
      • 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 July 24, 2017 and September 22, 2017.  The extension also applies to policies that received underpayment notices.  (FEMA Bulletin W-17029)

Please visit our website to review the other recent industry updates related to Hurricane Harvey.

Proctor will continue to monitor federal, state and investor requirements for Hurricane Harvey assistance and will provide updates as they develop.