The tornadoes that tore through Kentucky in December 2021 were devastating to thousands of people, many of whom are still waiting on aid from FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) to start the long process of rebuilding their lives. The Disaster Insurance Claims team at Long & Long Attorneys at Law understands how difficult this is to face, and we’d like to give you an update on where these claims stand, what you can do to get the help you need, and when to call our office for assistance.
An Update From FEMA
In late February, FEMA sent out an update saying that those who have been subject to damage from the tornadoes should first file an insurance claim with their homeowner’s insurance before applying for FEMA aid. Federal law requires this, and to get aid from FEMA, one or more of the following things has to occur:
- You filed a claim and it’s been delayed for more than 30 days.
- Your settlement does not entirely cover your losses.
- You have exhausted your insurance policy’s living expenses coverage.
- You can’t find rental properties in your community that suit your needs.
What to Do for Help
The first thing to do is file a homeowner’s claim as soon as possible, if you haven’t already. Most policies will not cover flood damage, but you’ll still need to have your claim on file before FEMA can step in. Next, apply with FEMA for federal assistance. You don’t have to wait for your insurance settlement to go through before applying.
After applying with FEMA, you have a 12-month window to let them know if your insurance settlement wasn’t enough and you need to be considered for aid. You will need to update your application if your claim was refused, if you haven’t received your settlement yet, or if it doesn’t cover your needs.
Next, it’s usually a good idea to contact a qualified disaster insurance attorney for help. You may need to fight for the benefits and coverage you need, and an experienced attorney will know how to navigate the legal waters to make sure you’re covered.
Why Was My Settlement So Low?
There could be many reasons your settlement offer might come in lower than expected. In some cases, the insurance adjuster could simply be inexperienced. We can challenge the offer and get you reassessed. In other cases, the damage turns out to be more severe than it looked at first. For example, what at first seemed to be simple roof damage may later reveal major mold issues within your walls.
In other situations, it could be an unethical adjuster who is trying to skew the claim against you. Fortunately, these aren’t the norm, but it’s still important to have someone in your corner who will fight for you.
Our Disaster Insurance Claims Team is Here to Help
After suffering tornado damage, navigating the waters of a disaster claim can be confusing and frustrating at a time when life is already feeling scary and overwhelming. In times like these, it can be crucial to have someone in your corner who can guide you through the process, help you avoid mistakes, and take over communications with the insurance company and government agencies for you. That’s where we come in. Contact us to get your free policy review today.