Flood victims can appeal if FEMA denies coverage

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) – FEMA says property owners who received denial-of-coverage letters regarding flood damage from Hurricane Mathew can appeal their cases.

The agency has started making determinations on claims for those who have applied so far.

Governor Terry McAuliffe’s office announced Thursday that FEMA is expanding the coverage area for flood damage.

Hurricane Matthew disaster assistance approved for Hampton Roads’ cities

Chesapeake, Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Newport News were on the original list. FEMA has now added Portsmouth, Suffolk and Franklin, along with Isle of Wight and Southampton counties.

FEMA says if at first you do get denied, don’t toss the letter. You have the right to appeal.

How to appeal denial of coverage

“You might have some new information that wasn’t originally submitted that will be helpful,” said Troy York, a FEMA media specialist. “I urge people, don’t just quit the process upon receipt of such a letter. Come in and let’s work through it.”

York says denials often occur because of missing paperwork, such as proof of insurance or proof of ownership. He says it’s important that property owners in eligible areas apply before the January 3, 2017 deadline, even if their flooding caused no apparent damage, because flood damage may not emerge until later.

Property owners can apply for coverage or appeal a denial of coverage online, by phone, or at any of three area Disaster Recovery Centers set up by FEMA.

Disaster recovery centers hours change in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Va. Beach