According to Insurance.com, flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States, and also the most expensive. And the Insurance Information Institute warns that Florida is the state most at risk of flooding.
If you own or rent a home in Naples, Florida, you need to know how to be protected from flood damage, what flood insurance does and doesn’t cover, and what to do if your flood insurance claim is denied.
Homeowner’s Insurance Does Not Equal Flood Insurance
It’s essential to remember that standard homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover flood damage. This might be the biggest misconception that home insurance buyers have – assuming that if they purchase homeowner’s insurance, then it will cover flood damage. It will not!
You need to purchase additional insurance to cover flooding.
If you have a mortgage, you might be required by the mortgage lender to purchase an additional flood insurance policy if you live in certain flood-prone zones.
What Does Flood Insurance Cover?
If you buy flood insurance, the standard NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) policy will provide replacement cost coverage capped at $250,000 for damage to the structure of the home and actual cash value coverage capped at $100,000 for loss of personal possessions, says the Insurance Information Institute.
According to FloodSmart.gov, there are two kinds of flood insurance coverage that can be purchased through the NFIP and they cover different kinds of damage.
- Building Coverage:
- Electrical and plumbing systems
- Furnaces and water heaters
- Refrigerators, cooking stoves, and built-in appliances like dishwashers
- Permanently installed carpeting
- Permanently installed cabinets, paneling, and bookcases
- Window blinds
- Foundation walls, anchorage systems, and staircases.
- Detached garages
- Fuel tanks, well water tanks and pumps, and solar energy equipment
- Contents Coverage:
- Personal belongings such as clothing, furniture, and electronic equipment
- Washer and dryer
- Portable and window air conditioners
- Microwave oven
- Carpets not included in building coverage (such as carpet installed over wood floors)
- Valuable items such as original artwork and furs (up to $2,500)
What Flood Insurance Does Not Cover
Just as believing the myth that homeowner’s insurance covers flooding will lead to unpleasant surprises, you need to be clear what flood insurance will actually cover. What flood insurance covers and doesn’t cover isn’t always intuitive.
For example, flood damage does not cover water damage from leaking pipes or damage from wind-driven rain.
According to FloodSmart.gov, when considering what will be covered by flood insurance and what will not be, you must consider the cause of the damage. Simply saying “water damage” is misleading. The damage must be caused by a natural flood in order to be covered by flood insurance. FloodSmart.gov defines “flood” as “an excess of water on land that is normally dry, affecting two or more acres of land or two or more properties.”
For example, if pipes in your house crack and cause water damage because the normal water flow is escaping through the cracked pipes, that will not be covered. But if your sewer system is damaged by a flood, that will be covered.
As you can see, the validity of flood insurance claims and denials can become very confusing. You might believe that the damage came from flooding, and the insurance company might allege that the damage came from wind-driven rain. What damage is from flooding (defined by policy stipulations) and what is from other sources of water is hard to measure and might seem very subjective.
If you believe your claim was unfairly denied in Naples, FL, you can contact an insurance claim denial attorney.
How Can You Better Prepare for Flood Damage?
If you live in Florida, it’s simply just a good idea to purchase flood insurance. As the Insurance Information Institute reminds us, there are no flood-free zones in Florida. The Insurance Information Institute recommends that all Florida homeowners and renters purchase flood insurance, even those who live inland.
What If Your Flood Insurance Claim Is Denied?
If you do have coverage for flood damage and your claim was still denied, you can appeal the denied claim. Sometimes claims are denied because of a misunderstanding and can later be settled, but other times a denied claim happens unjustly when an insurance company is trying to protect their bottom line.
How Can An Insurance Claim Denial Attorney Help?
Arguing with insurance companies over fine print and ambiguous details is not a battle to fight alone! A flood insurance claim denial lawyer like Michael M. Raheb, P.A. can review your policy, negotiate with adjusters, and fight for your rights! After paying those premiums, you deserve for your policy to come through. For help getting the money you need in Naples, FL, contact our legal team at 239-226-0888 or online!
2423 First Street,
Fort Myers FL 33901
Fax Number: 866-949-0888