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Flood Insurance

Price Guidelines

When a catastrophe occurs large numbers of adjusters are needed. Insurance companies rely in large part upon third party adjusting firms to help with their staffing needs. As a result, adjusters will likely come from a wide geographic area, not just your county or state or region.


FEMA tells us the concept of price guidelines came about in part to help adjusters from afar understand what common materials costs are for a particular state. For example, the price guidelines produced by the NFIP’s Bureau and Statistical Agent in September 2003 to replace a 5 ton air conditioning compressor in Maryland was $3,760. The problem is that if you had a top of the line energy efficient unit, as some did, the actual cost at that time was nearly double the guideline amount.


The guide was originally intended to be just that – a guide. In the event that prices were outside of the guidelines, the insured was to provide documentation as to why the amount differed. Unfortunately, in Isabel and already with tropical storm Alex, many adjusters have been errantly trained they cannot deviate from a set list of prices and refused to do so. This goes against senior FEMA official’s positions and writings and in large part led to the class action lawsuit.

Last Modified: 090404 1253


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