FEMA publishes final rule on flood insurance claims appeals processMortgagePress.comFEMA,flood insurance claims
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA) has published the final rule amending the
National Flood Insurance Program's (NFIP's) regulations, providing
for an appeals process for flood insurance policyholders.
The final rule (RIN 1660 AA41) fulfills a key provision of the
Bunning Bereuter Blumenauer Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2004
(P.L. 108 264).
"This new appeals process gives NFIP insurance policyholders
specific steps to appeal a claims decision and provides them with
an official mechanism to have their case heard by the federal flood
insurance administrator," said David Maurstad, federal flood
insurance administrator and director of FEMA's mitigation division.
"FEMA has traditionally used an informal process to handle appeals
regarding decisions related to coverage or claims under the NFIP.
For our customers, this makes the process clearer and easier for
them to appeal if they feel they've not been treated equitably.
This written policy is consistent with our goal of making sure all
claims handled by our insurance company partners are done as
quickly and equitably as possible."
Under the new appeals process, FEMA will acknowledge receipt of
a policyholder's appeal in writing and will advise the policyholder
if additional information is required in order to fully consider
the appeal. FEMA will review the documentation submitted by the
policyholder and conduct any necessary additional investigation.
FEMA will advise the policyholder and the appropriate flood
insurance carrier of its decision regarding the appeal.
This appeals process is available after the issuance of the
insurer's final claim determination. Once the final claim
determination is issued, a policyholder may appeal any action taken
by an insurer, FEMA employee, FEMA contractor, insurance agent or
insurance adjuster. The appeal must be filed within 60 days of
receiving the final claim determination. The appeals process does
not preclude the policyholder's right to enter into litigation, if
he so chooses.
For more information, visit www.fema.gov.