Florida is known for nearly year-round sunshine and sandy coast lines. But Florida weather can bring a lot more than high temperatures and beautiful beach days.
The Sunshine State is also subject to harsh hurricane seasons and stormy weather. Flooding goes hand in hand with both, and floods just happen to be the most common and most expensive natural disaster in the U.S.
With billions of dollars spent each year on flood damage, it should make you wonder whether your home and belongings are protected from flood damage by your homeowner’s insurance policy.
Every insurer and policy are different, but for the most part, flood damage is not included in the average home insurance policy, which means you will likely have to purchase separate flood insurance.
According to this Flood Insurance Guide, “The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) lets you insure your home for up to $250,000 and your personal property (contents) for up to $100,000.
If you rent, you can buy up to $100,000 in coverage for your personal belongings. For non-residential property, you can buy up to $500,000 of coverage for the building and contents.
It is important to know that flood insurance comes with separate deductibles for the building and its contents. Flood insurance doesn't immediately kick in when you sign up. In most cases, there is a 30 day waiting period, and if a storm is heading your way, that will prevent you from buying a policy.
However, there are a few exceptions:
●If your address was newly added to the SFHA map and you buy flood insurance within the 13-month period following a map revision.
● If you're renewing your flood policy and increase your coverage.
●If your home is affected by flooding on burned federal land and you buy a policy within 60 days of the fire's containment.
● If you just bought a house and your lender requires flood coverage.”
Flood Damage Not Covered in Florida Homeowners Insurance
Water damage can result from any number of occurrences, from natural disasters to plumbing leaks. When it pertains to floods though, it is important to understand that flood damage is not usually covered in standard Florida homeowner insurance policies.
If you notice any type of water damage to your property, the first step you should take is to find the source, which may be a broken water heater, burst pipe, sewer line backup, or from roof damage, etc.
Knowing the source helps you understand how best to file your claim. For example, depending on your policy, if the damage is a result of a water heater leak or burst pipe, it will likely be covered by your homeowner’s insurance.
In contrast, if your property is damaged by water coming in from the exterior of your home due to a flood, then it would likely not be covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy but instead by your flood insurance policy.
Mold often results from water damage if not mitigated in promptly. Again, it is important to find the cause of the mold to help you determine whether to file a claim through your homeowner’s insurance company. In some cases, your homeowner’s insurance company may also provide additional mold coverage options.
Filing a Claim for Flood Damages
Filing any claim, especially for flood damage, can be a complex and lengthy process.
At Reliant Insurance Adjusters, we treat every client’s property claim as if it is our own. Our team is dedicated to providing the professionalism, experience, knowledge and resources to get you the highest possible settlement of your claim. Contact us today to give your claim our personal attention and see the difference we can make.