Types of Loss: Flood Damage

Floods are disasters that can occur without warning and can lead to complete devastation of structures and all physical property within that structure.  Floods can be life-threatening and result in tremendous stress.  

Flood damage is defined as water that originates from the ground prior to entering and damaging the structure and the personal belongings within the structure.  The water can overflow from other bodies of water as well as can occur from rainwater.  The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) provides a definition of what constitutes a flood.  The NFIP defines flooding as the following, “a general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land area or two or more properties (at least one of which is your property) from:  Overflow of inland waters, unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source, and mudflows.”  This definition provided by the NFIP is the definition utilized to define the guidelines for policy coverages.  

Floods are the second most common cause of natural disaster that results in property damage.  Most storms, hurricanes, tropical storms, overwhelming rain water, wind storms and storm surges result in some form of flooding that can result in property and personal damage.  Water is a powerful force.  Even a few inches of water can reek havoc on one’s property.  It only takes a foot of water to make a car float.  Vehicles weigh approximately 2 tons, so one can infer that water is a powerful source if it only takes 12 inches of water to make them float.  

When you are preparing for a potential flood, it is imperative to be educated on the weather terms.  A flood watch is different from a flood warning.  According to the National Weather Service a flood watch means that the individual should be prepared because the conditions are favorable for a hazardous weather event to occur.  A flood warning means to take action, that the hazardous weather is imminent or already occurring.  If flooding is imminent or a possibility, it is imperative that the individual get to higher ground and evacuate if possible.  Disconnect your electronics and turn off main utilities.  Safety is the most important thing.  Items can be replaced, but life is irreplaceable.    

Flood water is unclean.  There is bacteria, debris and possibly even sewer running through flood water; therefore, it is imperative to maintain appropriate sanitation and to not drink or utilize flood waters for any purpose.  Do not drive through any areas in which flooding is occurring.  Water can be quite deep and there is no possible way to determine how deep the water is ahead of your vehicle so please maintain safety and refrain from driving into flood waters.  Stay way from anything electric because you will be surrounded by water and will be wet.  Water and electricity equals electrocution and possible death, so be safe and stay away from electricity during floods.

Flood protection is an insurance policy that is normally separate from your normal insurance policy.  This protection can be obtained through the National Flood Insurance Program.  The pricing is predetermined and available to home owners, business owners and renters.  The flood insurance will cover the structural building and the personal belongings within the property.  While this is the standard, it is imperative to review your personal insurance policy so that you can understand what is covered during this natural disaster.  

Remember that you will need to document your property with pictures and videos so that you can provide appropriate evidence to the insurance company.  The insurance company will send an adjuster to assess and evaluate the damage.  They will provide you with an estimate of the loss and what the insurance company will reimburse you.  It is in your best interest to contact Coffey Trial Law, so that you can ensure you will get the settlement you deserve to replace your damaged property.  It is also in your best interest to hire an independent adjuster to evaluate and estimate the property and personal belonging loss so that you will have an idea of your total losses incurred.

Protect yourself by contacting Coffey Trial Law to make sure you are able to be reimbursed the appropriate amount from your insurance company.  This is imperative for you to rebuild your life and start anew.