By Benjamin Alexander-Bloch, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
on February 22, 2013 at 12:42 PM, updated February 22, 2013 at 12:46 PM
The deadline for Hurricane Isaac flood-related loss claims once again has been extended. The cutoff date had been Thursday (Feb. 21) for most Louisiana property owners with flood insurance policies, but FEMA now has pushed that back for another 60 days.
The National Flood Insurance Program usually requires claims to be reported within 60 days from the date of loss, but this is the fourth extension that has been granted, in part because access to many homes and other buildings was delayed due to the infrastructure damage or high floodwaters.
The extension means most policyholders now have until April 22 to complete their proof of loss claims. While Isaac first made landfall in Louisiana on Aug. 28, FEMA states that, since heavy rainfall and flooding occurred for several days before and after, the date of loss — and thus the exact deadline to submit a claim, known as “proof of loss” — varies for property owners.
Failure to submit that proof of loss could cause policyholders to miss out on benefits from their flood insurance policy. As of late January, the National Flood Insurance Program had paid out about $416 million on about 13,160 claims in Louisiana since Isaac made landfall.
The latest 60-day extension will have given Louisianians 240 days from the date of their insured losses to submit a proof of loss.
“A major storm like Isaac can make it difficult for survivors to gather information that will help adjusters determine their flood insurance loss,” FEMA coordinating officer Gerard M. Stolar said after the most recent extension. “This extension eases the burden on folks who haven’t yet filed their proof of loss, and we continue to urge them to do so as soon as possible.”
Policyholders with questions about flood insurance or concerns about their claims may contact their local insurance agent, call FEMA program experts at 1.866.331.1679 or 1.866.330.7286, or visit www.floodsmart.gov.