Cover photo of a homeowner removing damaged drywall

Document your damage

Before discarding items, policyholders should be sure to document their damage using photos and/or videos. The policyholder should retain, for the adjuster, samples or swatches of carpeting, wallpaper, furniture upholstery, window treatments and other items where the type and quality of material may impact the amount payable on the claim. For appliances — like washers, dryers, stoves, etc. — take photos of the appliances and their serial numbers (best to take photos of them before moving them outside for disposal). It is also helpful if you can provide receipts to your adjuster. Properly documenting damaged property is critical for your flood claim, so discuss what your policy requirements are with your insurance agent and adjuster.

Mold and cleanup

It’s the responsibility of all National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policyholders to minimize the growth and spread of mold as much as possible. NFIP flood insurance policies will not cover mold damage if a policyholder fails to take action to prevent the growth and spread of mold.

In some instances, it’s not possible for a policyholder to get to the property and clean up and remove the mold. In these cases, the damage may be covered when:

  • A legally authorized official has banned entrance into the area (possibly as a result of downed trees, downed power lines, washout/destruction of roadways and any other reason the official may restrict entrance), and/or
  • Floodwaters remain around the home, or in the area, impeding the policyholder’s ability to inspect and maintain the insured property.

Clean up mold

To learn more about safe and effective flood cleanup, visit the U.S. Department of Environmental Protection Agency’s website to download a Homeowner’s and Renter’s Guide to Mold Cleanup After Disasters.