Living near the water is great, but it makes the risk of sustaining flood damage much higher. And unfortunately, coming home to flood damage is often just the beginning of a frustrating process. If you are having trouble getting your insurer to pay your flood damage claim, get in touch with a flood damage insurance claims lawyer in Fort Lauderdale at Coffey Trial Law.
We have decades of experience handling damage claims and know all the tricks insurers use to get out of paying valid insurance claims. Call us today: 954-541-3194.
Do you have flood insurance?
Many people find out the hard way that homeowner’s insurance only covers water damage, not flood damage. Regardless of how much money they have spent on premiums for their homeowner’s insurance, they will get nothing from their insurance company.
And while this might make it seem like your insurer is being underhanded, no homeowner’s insurance covers flood damage; flood damage is a separate policy, available through FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program.
What is the difference between water damage and flood damage?
You might be thinking, “But I have water damage coverage. What is the difference?”
It can be quite confusing to understand the difference between water damage and flood damage, as they can both come from the same storm. Tornadoes, hurricanes, and torrential rain can all cause water and flood damage to your home and other property.
All flood damage is from water, but the insurance companies create an artificial splitting of water damage and flood damage. The main difference between a water damage claim and a flood damage claim is the source of the water.
FEMA defines a flood as:
- tidal or inland waters overflowing;
- when surface waters quickly accumulate or run off;
- when waves or currents that are greater than normal create erosion or undermining that leads to the collapse of land on a lakeshore or on the shore of a similar body of water.
If the water comes from a natural source and two or more properties in a generally residential area are involved, it is likely flood damage rather, not water damage.
Usually, if you are experiencing the water issues but your neighbors are not, it is water damage, not flood damage. If you and your neighbor across the street are both dealing with the same water issues, it is likely flood damage.
The good news is that if you live in a place designated as a flood-prone area, you likely have flood insurance already. In those areas, homeowner’s insurance companies usually require the homeowner to also carry flood insurance.
To determine if you are in a flood-prone area, check here.
What types of damage does FEMA flood insurance cover?
FEMA flood insurance policies cover physical damage to your property and to your possessions. Regarding your building, FEMA flood insurance covers:
- The building
- The foundation
- Furnace, central air conditioner, and water heater
- Refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, etc.
- Carpeting, paneling, bookcases, and cabinets (must be permanently installed)
- Detached garages
- Removal of debris
Your personal property: FEMA flood insurance also covers your clothing, furniture, other appliances, electronics, and other items.
What does FEMA flood insurance not cover?
FEMA flood insurance does not cover:
- Septic systems
- Swimming pools
- Items outside the building
- Precious metals
- Stock certificates
- Mildew or mold damage you could have prevented
- Temporary housing
- Other living expenses caused by the flood damage
- Financial loss from business interruption or loss of use of the property
Coverage is also limited for basements, crawl spaces, and similar areas.
How does the FEMA flood insurance claim process work?
FEMA provides a three-step process for filing a claim for damages under your flood insurance policy:
- Contact your FEMA flood insurance agent or company to file a claim.
- Document the damage with photographs and lists.
- Complete a proof of loss within 60 days of the flood.
Seems simple, right? Unfortunately, it is rarely ever is. Even though you have paid your monthly premiums and done everything you can, you will likely have to contend with a lowballing insurance agent or even a flat-out denial.
Insurance adjusters know that you are anxious to get the damage repaired so you can move back into your house. This can give them an advantage in negotiating with you about the amount of your damages claim. Take away that unfair advantage by having a flood damage insurance claim lawyer fight for you.
We will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to get you all the money you deserve.
Call Coffey Trial Law for Help
The flood damage insurance claims lawyers in Fort Lauderdale at Coffey Trial Law know how frustrating it is to receive a settlement that is too low to cover your needs or to receive a complete denial from the insurance company. We will not let this be the end of the process for you. We will stand up against the insurance company and get it to offer you what you deserve.
If we believe the insurer is acting in bad faith, we can even hold it liable in court.
Do not delay; get your case started today. Call Coffey Trial Law to schedule a free consultation at 954-371-0704.