PIFF urges Hurricane Ian victims to file FEMA claims quickly

3d render of a flooding white house - force of nature
FEMA has programs that can help Floridians without flood insurance.

The Personal Insurance Federation of Florida is urging Floridians impacted by Hurricane Ian to contact their insurer and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to find out what they can do to assist them if they have a loss that is not covered by their policy.

PIFF’s advice was primarily directed at those dealing with flood damage, since such damages are many times only covered under a separate flood insurance policy, rather than a windstorm policy or other insurance product.

“Unfortunately, Ian has caused significant flood damage, and according to some estimates, most flood-impacted homeowners do not have flood insurance,” said Michael Carlson, president and CEO of PIFF. “It is important for homeowners to know that windstorm insurance is not flood insurance. And unfortunately, those who did not have NFIP or private flood insurance and suffered losses due to flooding will not have coverage. FEMA does have a program that provides financial assistance that can help with some recovery costs, but it is limited, and affected homeowners must meet certain eligibility requirements — getting an eligibility determination from your insurer is an essential step.”

PIFF recommends Floridians who experienced flood loss and have no flood insurance explore filing a claim with FEMA under the Individuals and Households Program. IHP provides financial and direct services to eligible individuals and households affected by a disaster who have uninsured or under-insured necessary expenses and serious needs.

Eligibility requirements for IHP assistance include proof that one’s insurance — or other forms of disaster assistance received — cannot meet disaster-caused needs and proving the necessary expenses and serious needs are directly caused by a declared disaster. Floridians can apply for disaster assistance online, by phone at 800-621-3362, or through the FEMA mobile app.

“As part of the eligibility determination, a consumer must prove to FEMA that their insurance does not meet their needs,” Carlson added. “This likely requires an applicant to first make a claim to their homeowner’s insurer, even if the claim is for flood damage that is not covered by their policy. A claim denial by the insurer should serve as confirmation that the applicant’s insurance does not cover their losses, satisfying the eligibility. You will need that insurance determination letter, so contact your agent or your insurer and begin the claims process as soon as you can to meet this important requirement.”

IHP provides two general categories of assistance: Financial Housing Assistance, which includes home repair or replacement assistance, and Financial Other Needs, which includes several categories including personal property, transportation, moving and storage, medical and dental and childcare assistance among the supports.

The maximum payments for these types of assistance are $37,900 for Financial Housing Assistance and $37,900 for Financial Other Needs, according to the most recent public information. FEMA can also cover lodging expenses, rental costs and continued temporary housing assistance with no maximum payment limit — instead the amount of reimbursement/assistance is based on market costs as documented by receipts for these expenses.

Drew Wilson

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.


  • Ernest and Kathleen Stevens

    October 19, 2022 at 5:10 pm

    Need assistance after hurricane Ian. Lost food and power for 6 days. Huge trees fallen in the yard that need to be removed that homeowners insurance does not cover.

    • Yah?

      October 20, 2022 at 1:53 am

      You Should have lived somewhere else.

  • Ernest and Kathleen Stevens

    October 19, 2022 at 5:12 pm

    Applying for FEMA assistance for hurricane Ian. Lost of all food because of loss of power and huge trees downed that need to be extricated that Home owners insurance won’t take care of.

  • Impeach Biden

    October 19, 2022 at 10:28 pm

    Applying for FEMA help is for socialist LOSERS!
    Your house was ruined in a hurricane? FAKE NEWS!
    Get a job you parasites.

  • Impeach Biden

    October 20, 2022 at 11:26 pm

    The Grift is on.

Comments are closed.


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