When a home suffers flood damage caused by a hurricane or harsh storm, the potential financial impact can be devastating. Homeowners must look to the National Insurance Flood Program (NFIP) rather than their standard homeowners’ insurance policy to repair damage caused by flooding. We know that flood victims have many questions about flood claims, so we have provided answers to common questions about flood coverage and claims.
Does my Florida homeowners’ policy cover flood damage?
Generally, flood coverage is not provided by Florida homeowners’ insurance policies.
Can I just get my loss paid via the federal disaster assistance program if my home is damaged by flooding?
Federal disaster assistance differs significantly from flood insurance coverage. Disaster relief offered by the federal government is only available if the President formally declares a disaster. Further, the assistance provided comes in the form of low-interest loans rather than compensation for your loss.
Why would I need flood insurance if my neighborhood/community has never experienced a flood?
Flooding can occur in relatively low to moderate-risk areas as well as high-risk areas because of inadequate drainage systems, burst water mains, sudden accumulation of rainwater and similar causes. If your home sits on a hillside, flood insurance also provides coverage in the event of damage caused by a mudslide.
How significant is the risk of flooding in high-risk areas?
Homes in a high-risk flood areas have better than a one in four chance of suffering flood damage during the term of a 30 year mortgage. Homes in areas mapped as high-risk are five time more likely to experience damage from flooding than from fire. Because of the relatively high probability of flood damage in high-risk areas, federally regulated loans and mortgages from federally insured lenders cannot be extended unless the homeowner has flood insurance.
How do I know if I qualify for flood insurance?
If your community participates in the NFIP, then you qualify for National Flood Insurance. If you do not know if your community is included in the program, you can confirm participation by following this link.
Why do I need flood insurance if I do not live in a high-risk area?
A quarter of all flood claims involve structures that are in low to mid-risk flood areas, so flood insurance is worth having even if you do not live in a high-risk area. If you do not live in a high-risk area, you may be able to obtain a lower premium.
Am I required to purchase flood insurance if I received federal disaster assistance following a flood?
Under federal law, you must purchase flood insurance if you accept a low-interest loan through the federal disaster assistance program to repair your home after it has been damaged by a flood. If you sell the home, you must advise the buyer of the requirement that flood insurance continue to be maintained on the home.
If you have insurance coverage questions or your insurance carrier is refusing to pay your claim, my law firm might be able to help. I am a former insurance claims adjuster who handles disputed claims in Miami and throughout Florida. The Law Firm of J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo, P.A. offers free consultations and case evaluations. No Recovery, No Lawyer Fees. Call 305-461-1095 or Toll Free 1-866-71-CLAIM.