How to file a flood insurance claim for storm damage

Tropical Storm Henri made its way through the Northeast leaving homeowners with flooded basements and damage to their homes. 

On Sunday, the storm ripped through North Jersey, bringing heavy rain that broke records in some towns and will continue to dump more rain in the area on Monday. With flooding and damage reported in multiple areas, here’s how homeowners can file an insurance claim after the storm.

Contact your insurer and stop further damage

According to, the first step to file a claim is to get in touch with your insurer or the agent who sold you the homeowners insurance. Your policy may require you to file within a certain time frame, so make sure to contact your agent soon. The insurer can also advise you about what repairs you should make right away to prevent further damage to your home.

Find out what’s covered by your policy

A standard homeowners insurance policy covers damage to the home’s structure and personal property, minus a deductible. The amount you’re paid will depend on the kind of coverage you have. Though “replacement cost” coverage should cover repairing or replacing your home and any lost or damaged items, “actual cash value” coverage will pay you the value of your home and the damaged items inside.

Avoid filing too many small claims advises avoiding filing claims that appear to be less expensive than the value of your deductible. That’s because if you’re filing a lot of claims, your insurer may decide that you’re filing too often and raise your premiums. But some storms may prove the exception.

Due to the heavy rain from Tropical Storm Henri, a tree uprooted and branches struck a home on McKinley Place in Ridgewood, N.J. on Sunday evening August 22, 2021. The morning after the storm, the tree is still across the home Monday morning.

Get ready for the insurance adjuster

Once you’ve filed a claim, your insurance company will assign an adjuster, who will assess the damage and submit an estimate for review. Due to the pandemic, an adjuster may schedule a virtual appointment to assess the damage reported. But if the damage appears to be considerable or severe, you can ask the insurer to have an adjuster come to your home.

Zubair Q Britania

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