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Flood Claims and Licensed Adjusters

Flood Claims and Licensed Adjusters

Flood Claims and Licensed Adjusters

Let’s look at how the recent evolution of the industry’s approach to flood claims will benefit newly licensed claims adjusters. Also, how it will allow them the ease of entry and early success the industry has long been known for.
 
The nation has taken some major steps over the past couple of years. Steps to alleviate the flood claim pain points that became exposed after hurricanes Harvey and Florence The inability to assign flood claims during the 2017 storm season caused delays claims processing times For those of us in the adjusting industry, it caused an inability to adequately set expectations for new and veteran adjusters. This is regarding the number of claims that can come their way in a storm situation.

Harvey & Florence

In 2017, when hurricanes Harvey and Florence hit, the industry welcomed thousands of new adjusters. Adjusters who provided an influx of talent after a lull in storm claims throughout the prior 3 years.  Many of these new adjusters went right to work and kept working throughout the storm season.  In some areas, however, like Houston after Harvey and North Carolina after Florence, some adjusters were now called out. The adjusters were now called to handle claims and then ended up without their promised work.
 
There were 2 things at work.  In Houston, most of the Harvey claims assigned as flood claims. There just weren’t enough adjusters at that time. There were not adjusters with flood certifications to handle the claims. But, there wasn’t a solid process in place to allow for ease of training non-certified adjusters to help.  So this resulted in many adjusters going home.  In North Carolina, Florence came from Georgia into the Southwestern corner of the state. They went into areas that were not NFIP mandatory flood insurance plains. So, many North Carolina home-owners did not carry flood insurance.  And no insurance – means no claims.  An expected huge number of claims employing thousands of adjusters ended up leaving many disappointed.

So what has changed?

 
The 2017 situation was a big wake-up call for the industry. Since that time:
 
  • FEMA has updated its flood plains with new areas. Areas including a greater portion of North Carolina. Also, many additional areas nationwide. This is to assure that more homeowners carry adequate flood insurance.
 
  • Additionally, FEMA as part of the NFIP had a process called the Flood Mentorship program in place before 2017. This allowed for certified companies to handle flood claims. Then, to train adjusters to handle these claims under the company umbrella.  But, at that time the program hadn’t rolled out to many firms so its reach limited. FEMA has allowed for the Flood Mentorship program to implement several additional companies. This is to create a much bigger workforce for flood claims handling.  Now adjusters who don’t “have their flood certification” can handle flood claims under the umbrella of the IA firm that they represent. Provided the IA firm is on the list of those approved by FEMA.

If you have any questions about this information, contact us today!  We are here to help the new insurance adjuster!

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