FEMA: National Flood Insurance Program waives some requirements for advance payment


The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has waived some requirements for homeowners with flood insurance by making it easier to get advance payments quicker, the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced on Facebook.

Homeowners should ask about advance payment when filing a flood claim with FEMA. You could qualify for an advance payment before an adjuster inspects for damage, according to FEMA. Thursday marks the disaster registration deadline. It is also the deadline to apply for U.S. Small Business Administration loans.

The agency notes that the advance is not a payment for non-covered living expenses like temporary housing.

Advance payments can also be requested after the adjuster inspects for damage.

The NFIP has paid $6 billion to more than 90,000 policyholders who have filed flood insurance Harvey claims in Texas, according to FEMA.

In a Facebook Live interview posted Wednesday, a representative with the Texas Department of Insurance Consumer Protection Unit said the best way to address payment disputes is to have direct communication with your adjuster.

"Get on the phone with your adjuster, with your agent," Mistie Hinote of the insurance department said. "Have your settlement amount with you. Have your documentation and say, 'Okay, this is the settlement amount you offered, but I think this is fair.' Maybe there's some other damages that you didn't discover, that the adjuster didn't see.

"When they took off the walls, there might be some other damage. When they started repairing the roof, there might be other damage."

NFIP policyholders are required follow the guidelines of their flood policy when cleaning up.

The U.S. Department of Environmental Protection Agency’s Homeowners' and Renters' Guide to Mold Cleanup After Disasters can be found here.

RELATED: FEMA Harvey Facebook Live host Carmen Castro talks with Mistie Hinote, Consumer Protection Unit, Texas Department of Insurance. For closed captioning, follow this link.

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