Florida is highly susceptible to floods. Not only is the state a swampy lowland area surrounded by water, but it lies in the path of wet weather systems that travel across the Atlantic. Therefore, it is especially important to protect yourself against flood damage in Florida during hurricane season because your Florida homeowners insurance policy does not cover flood damage.
In fact, according to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, only 1/3 of all Florida homes have the necessary Florida flood insurance coverage. To get the required Florida flood insurance coverage, you will have to buy a separate policy of up to $250,000 for property damage and $100,000 for personal contents.
What does Florida flood insurance cover?
Florida flood insurance covers direct physical losses that are caused by a flood. It may also cover losses caused by invasive waves or currents, severe rain storms, flash floods, abnormal tidal surges and mudflows. To know exactly which damages your Florida flood insurance policy covers, you should speak to your Florida flood insurance provider.
Under personal contents coverage, items that you may claim compensation for include:
- clothing, furniture and certain electronic equipment;
- portable appliances such as air conditioners, microwaves and dishwashers;
- carpeting; and
- up to $2,500 of valuable contents such as artwork and furs.
How do I file a Florida flood damage claim?
If you have suffered flood damage in Florida, you must contact your Florida flood insurance provider to file a damage claim. Before you do so, you should do your best to gather evidence of the damage you have suffered. This includes photographs of the damage to your property and any documents or receipts that will prove your property’s value.
Next, you should try to prevent the damage to your property from getting worse. For instance, if your roof has been leaking after a storm, you should do your best to stop the leak by covering it with a tarp or having it repaired. If you fail to mitigate the damage to your property, your Florida flood damage claim may be denied altogether.
After you file your claim, a Florida flood insurance adjuster will be sent to evaluate the damage. You must also file a “proof of loss” within 60 days of the flood. A proof of loss is your own valuation of the damage that you have suffered, which is submitted on a printed form that is usually provided by the adjuster.
Can I trust the insurance adjuster?
When an adjuster estimates the value of your flood damage in Florida, it is never a good idea to put your full trust in the adjuster. Remember, the adjuster works for the insurance company, whose main objective is to pay their claimants as little money as possible.
To recover the money you deserve, you should get an estimate of your own. To do so, you can hire a public adjuster, or you can seek help from a Florida homeowners insurance attorney. In fact, an experienced attorney can estimate your damages just as well as a public adjuster, but a Florida homeowners insurance attorney has certain advantages that a public adjuster does not.
If, for example, your Florida flood insurance provider denies your flood damage claim, you may want to take legal action. In this case, you will need the help of a Florida homeowners insurance attorney. If you choose to pursue damages in a formal court of law, your Florida homeowners insurance attorney can represent your legal interests with an insurance claims lawsuit.
Contacting a Florida Homeowners Insurance Attorney
The Florida homeowners insurance attorney team at Falk & Falk Law Firm knows how important it is to you and your family to get the settlement you need to move on with your lives. Our Florida homeowners insurance attorney team has experience in helping victims of natural disasters—and other homeowners’ nightmares—recover from their loss. An experienced attorney can help you to fight for the compensation you need and navigate the tricky world of homeowners and hurricane insurance. Contact us today – (305) 742-0878.