Flood in Progress

 

Location

Start Date of FIP

End Date

Eagle Lake, Charter Township of Texas, Kalamazoo County in southwest Michigan

Between February 18 – 21, 2018

TBD

Lake Poinsett, South Dakota

March 29, 2019 12:00 p.m.

TBD

Red Lake, South Dakota

March, 2019

n/a

Lake Huron, St. Clair River and Lake St. Claire Michigan

TBD. May affect claims reported in 2019 and 2020

TBD

Lake Shamineau, Minnesota

TBD. May affect claims reported in 2019 and 2020

TBD

 

Standard Flood Insurance Policies (SFIP) Considerations

  • SFIP Section V.B. excludes from coverage a loss directly or indirectly caused by a flood that is already in progress at the time and date the policy’s first term begins. In other words, damage from a flood that begins before the date the policy’s first term begins is not covered even if the flood event does not damage the insured property until after the policy’s first term begins.
  • When coverage is added to an existing policy at the request of the policyholder and a flood is already in progress, damage that occurs to insured property from that same flood event after the effective date of the increased coverage will only be covered at the prior policy limits.
  • Each claim is evaluated on an individual basis as to whether a flood was in progress and the Flood in Progress (FIP) exclusion should apply. Evidence that a flood may be in progress on the date the policy’s first term begins or on the date increased policy coverage is effective may include a recent:
  • Flood in the community where the insured building is located caused by the same source of flooding as the flood on the insured property, or
  • Event initiating a flood that causes damage, such as: a. A spillway opening, b. A levee breaching, c. A dam releasing water, or d. Water escaping from the banks of a waterway (stream, river, creek, etc.).

FEMA has found that people are buying flood insurance policies after there is evidence of flooding in the area. Extensive sandbagging or temporary levees should prompt a FIP investigation.

When adjusting a claim for which the FIP exclusion may apply, the adjuster must investigate if a flood is already in progress at the time and date the policy’s term begins. Section 2: Claims Processes and Guidance, 14. Flood-In-Progress Exclusion on page 233 of the May 2020 NFIP Claims Manual provides guidance on when the FIP exclusion may apply, adjustment concerns, and how to request assistance and tracking of FIP. It is important that you inform FEMA of any potential FIP claims to ensure uniformity in claims handling for all insurers.

Coverage may exist if a different flood caused by another source damages the insured property. The investigation and coverage determination should sufficiently document the coverage decision in the claim file.

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