Disaster Assistance for Those with Insurance Coverage

There are some circumstances where you may be able to receive help from FEMA even if you do have insurance coverage. However, it is essential that you have already contacted your insurance agent and filed a claim. If you have not done this already, you will need to do it as soon as possible. Failing to file an insurance claim will make you unable to register for FEMA assistance.

Assuming that you have already filed a claim with your insurance company, let's look at some of the situations where FEMA may still be able to provide you with assistance:

  • Your insurance settlement is delayed. In technical terms, delayed means a decision on your insurance settlement has taken longer than 30 days from the time you filed the claim. If this is what has happened to you, write a letter to FEMA at: Federal Emergency Management Agency, PO Box 10055, Hyattsville, MD 20782; explaining the circumstances. In your letter, include documentation from the insurance company proving that you filed the claim. If you filed your claim over the telephone, you should include the claim number, the date when you applied, and the estimated length of time it will take for you to receive your settlement. Remember, though, that any help awarded to you by FEMA would be considered an advance — it must be repaid to FEMA once you receive your insurance settlement.
  • Your insurance settlement is insufficient to meet your disaster-related needs. If you have received the maximum settlement from your insurance and still have an unmet disaster-related need, write a letter to FEMA explaining that unmet disaster-related need. Include related paperwork from your insurance company for FEMA’s review.
  • You have exhausted the Additional Living Expenses (ALE) provided by your insurance company. If you have received the maximum settlement from your insurance for Additional Living Expenses (ALE) and still need help with your disaster-related temporary housing need, write a letter to FEMA explaining why you still need help. You will also need to provide documentation to prove you had and used ALE assistance from your insurance company, and include a plan for future permanent housing.
  • You are unable to locate rental resources in your area. The FEMA Helpline has a list of rental resources in the disaster area. If no resources are available in your county, the Helpline agent will try to provide you with resources in an adjacent county. Call the Helpline at (800) 621-FEMA (or 3362). For TTY service, call (800) 462-7585.