Help Prevent the Deobligation of FEMA Funds with the Right Documentation

The key to loss recovery funding is: “Documentation, documentation, documentation!”  Think about it as building a case for your loss. In order to prove your case, you’ll need evidence, and that means for both pre- and post-loss. Below are five types of documentation we suggest your organization maintain to help ensure that funding obligated through an insurance or FEMA claim is maximized.

Pre-Loss

1. Establish Clear Condition Assessments of Your Property

Condition can be a major determining factor after a loss. It is the obligated party’s responsibility to make sure they are mitigating risk and maintaining property up to its use and reasonable condition. Documentation at this level should include:

  • Annual assessments documented with images and occupancy records.
  • Property improvement logs documented with construction/improvement contracts.
  • Accurate records of occupancy updated to show property that is vacant or in transition of occupancy.

2. Maintain Proper Insurance Coverage Documentation

A clear understanding of up-to-date policy information is critical to determine who is obligated to fund the loss.

  • Record and store all property insurance policies. Include effective dates and limits.
  • Understand what is covered. For example: debris removal (at what level)? damages to structures? contents? by flood, seismic activity, or acts of terrorism? etc.
  • Record deductibles on all categories of policy inclusions.

Post-Loss

3. Document the Loss Event and All Related Activities

Have a clear loss documentation process that includes loss inspections and additional loss mitigation.

  • Inspect all property affected by the event. This may include engineering inspections as well as condition assessments.
  • Document the loss with images and documentation. Make sure all documents include timestamps.
  • Secure property and mitigate the potential for additional damage. Document with images, timestamps and third party contracts.
  • Follow all existing procurement processes when contracting outside work.

4. Debris Removal

Documenting and maintaining accurate logs of debris removal is a tedious task. It can also be expensive. Make sure that you have reviewed your insurance policy to see if it covers the removal of debris after a loss. Any cost beyond your coverage may be recovered through the FEMA public assistance program.

  • Check insurance policies for coverage. Make sure to note distances from property that may not be covered.
  • Discuss the distance quotient with your debris removal service.
  • Document the amount of debris removed under insurance policy and any debris removal beyond the coverage.
  • Record and document tonnage and apply to either an insurance claim or FEMA public assistance.
  • Funding for removing debris, covered under your insurance policy, can be de-obligated in the FEMA public assistance process.

5. Rebuilding

This phase of loss recovery may be the most time consuming and complex. Many groups within an organization participate in this phase.

  • Record all administrative time and expenses that are associated with this process, they are covered by the FEMA public assistance grant program.
  • Record all project contracts and costs for each property effected.
  • Link all actual costs of these projects to the original estimated costs you had.
  • Detailed scope of work documents need to be maintained, updated and communicated throughout the process. Changes in scope are not covered by FEMA, unless they have been documented and approved.
  • To finalize the project, you must have a release of occupancy from the contractor.

Informed, Documented and Ready

What you don’t know about loss recovery funding pre-loss and post-loss can affect your bottom line. These tips can help your organization recover from a loss and help ensure the maximum funding for all loss activities.

Want to see how Centurisk’s AMP Property Risk Management software can help keep you prepared for tomorrow’s big risk challenges? Simply fill out the form below and a member of our team will be in touch!

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