On May 29, Secretary of the Army Mark T. Esper signed Army Directive 2019-21, Restrictions on Personnel Claims Payments, eliminating payments to Soldiers and Department of the Army civilians for damage or destruction of personal property resulting from natural or weather phenomena, such as floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes.
On Dec. 31, 2010, an EF3 tornado touched down on Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., destroying or damaging more than 100 homes on post. And in 2018, softball-sized hail damaged thousands of vehicles belonging to service members and civilians at Fort Carson, Colo.
These types of claims, called gratuitous claims, will no longer be covered by the Army. While requests for exceptions and waivers to this policy will be considered, Soldiers and civilians are encouraged to purchase private insurance policies that cover such incidents, such as homeowners, rental, and auto insurance.
"This policy change encourages individual responsibility for personal property," the directive states.
The new policy is not retroactive and does not apply to gratuitous claims for damage or destruction of personal property incurred prior to May 29.
Questions about gratuitous property loss claims should be addressed to the Center for Personnel Claims Support, at 502-626-300 or email@example.com.
(Article prepared by Maj. Krista F. Carpenter and Mary B. Kaiser with the Fort McCoy Installation Legal Office.)