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Another extension sought for Aug. '16 flood victims

Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon sent the letter Tuesday, requesting that the deadline to be pushed back from Sept. 1 to Dec. 31. 

Flooding at an apartment complex in Denham Springs. (Photo: Daniel Matson)

Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon has asked FEMA for a fifth deadline extension for victims of the August 2016 floods to file their sworn proof of loss claims.

Donelon sent the letter Tuesday, requesting that the deadline to be pushed back from Sept. 1 to Dec. 31. Unless FEMA agrees, Sept. 1 is the date by which flood victims must have their final losses certified and itemized for reimbursement from their insurers, who administer the government’s National Flood Insurance Program on FEMA’s behalf.

Usually, flood victims have 60 days from a flood event to get their losses confirmed and a sworn proof of loss form filed with FEMA. But extensions are often granted for major floods. Victims of Hurricane Sandy, for example, got two years to file their final proof of loss claims.

Donelon has already succeeded in convincing FEMA to give Louisiana victims a full year to file their final claims forms by arguing that the flooding in the Baton Rouge area and other parts of south Louisiana was one of the largest flood disasters in the 50-year history of the federal flood insurance program.

“I am told by my staff that there are still thousands of victims of that flood dealing with contractors and the challenges presented by their repair efforts in a very tight construction market,” Donelon wrote to FEMA’s assistant NFIP chief, David Maurstad.

Almost 30,000 Louisiana residents have filed claims with the NFIP. Donelon attached photographs of ongoing repair efforts to illustrate the challenges Louisiana flood victims are still facing.