Severe Flooding on Maui and Oahu – Residents and Businesses Urged to Report Flood Damages with Counties
On March 9th, 2020, Governor David Ige signed an emergency declaration for the entire State of Hawai‘i as a result of severe weather that has caused devastating flash floods, landslides, over topping of Kaupakalua dam (on Maui), and prompted emergency evacuations in Maui and Northshore of Oahu.
While this may be a difficult time for those who have suffered flood damage from the recent flooding across the state, it’s vitally important that homeowners, business owners and/or renters contact your insurance agent as soon as possible to discuss what type of insurance coverage you have in your portfolio that may help in recovery efforts. One of the most common misconception is that a homeowners policy will cover flood damage. Typically, a separate flood insurance policy is needed to cover flood damage to a structure and its contents. While, comprehensive or other-than-collision motor vehicle insurance may cover flood damage to your vehicle and the personal contents inside of the flooded vehicle.
The State of Hawaii, Department of Commerce and Consumer of Affairs, Insurance Division has produced an excellent publication that explains what is covered under the different types of insurance policies.
MY INSURANCE DOESN’T COVER WHAT?
Avoid surprises by understanding your homeowners insurance policy
If you have a National Flood Insurance Policy (NFIP) and suffered flood damage, review the FEMA/NFIP FACTSHEET on “How to File a Flood Insurance Claim” to help facilitate a positive claims process. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the NFIP is advising insurance companies to conduct remote adjustments whenever possible. However, remote adjustments are optional. If you choose to have a remote adjustment, you can also request an on-site inspection at any time during the damage assessment. Discuss your options with your adjuster. For more information on remote adjusting, read WYO Bulletin W-20004 (April 2, 2020).
If you choose remote adjustment, your adjuster will guide you on how to collect the documentation required for a successful damage assessment. The adjuster will explain the technology and equipment you need (such as a digital camera or smartphone and measuring tools) and make sure you are comfortable using them. Be sure to take photos and videos of your flood-related damage before throwing out items or discarding the carpet, while also taking steps to prevent the spread of mold.
Your claim payment amount will be based on the supporting documentation provided and what’s covered by your policy. If you are unsatisfied with the amount of your claim or receive a denial letter for some or all of your claim, follow the instructions on the FEMA/NFIP FACTSHEET regarding “Appealing Your Flood Insurance Claim”.
The City and County of Honolulu (CCHON), Department of Emergency Management has posted an online form that allows Oahu residents to self-report home and/or business damages as a result of the March 2021 floods. The purpose of the form is only to collect information that will help CCHON officials understand the damage that occurred and impacts on the community. The CCHON will use this information to determine whether the City is eligible to request for federal assistance.
County of Maui (COM) Emergency Management Agency has posted an online form for individuals and businesses to report damages. This information will ensure that COM has a complete picture of the scope of damage caused by March 8th flood event. The data collected will allow County officials to determine if COM qualifies for any state or federal assistance, as well as to assist with flood plain mapping. For more information, contact the Maui Emergency Management Agency at (808) 270-7285.
Note: Reporting damage is a voluntary activity and does not constitute an application for assistance nor does it substitute reporting damage(s) to your insurance agent.
Official Twitter for the State of Hawaii DLNR – Flood & Dam Safety Section