The Law Firm of J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo, P.A. helps insurance policyholders recover what they are due on their insurance claims, zealously advocates on behalf of victims of catastrophic personal injuries or wrongful death and fights for the rights of consumers and small businesses in Miami and throughout Miami-Dade County, Florida.

Below are some initial questions many clients have when they first contact J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo, P.A.. The questions below may address many initial concerns you may have. If you don't find the answers here, you should contact us for answers to questions specific to your case. The consultation is free.

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  • What is a "Flood?"

    A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land areas from:

    • Rising water or storm surge, whether driven by wind or not.
    • The overflow of inland or tidal waters.
    • The unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source.
    • Mudslides (i.e., mudflows) which are proximately caused by flooding.
    • The collapse or subsidence of land along the shore of a lake or other body of water as a result of erosion or undermining caused by waves or currents of water exceeding the cyclical levels which result in flooding.

  • If I remove the furniture from my house and store it in a warehouse to keep it from being damaged in a flood, am I covered for that expense?

    Yes, subject to limitations, your property is usually covered for 45 days if you remove it to protect it from flood damage. However, a complete review of your flood policy is necessary to fully determine coverage in your claim.

  • What types of losses are not covered by flood insurance?

    • Additional Living Expense coverage is not included as part of flood insurance.
    • Sewer backup or seepage of water is not covered unless the property is, at the same time, damaged by flood.
    • Water or moisture damage resulting from a condition primarily confined to the insured building.
    • Losses caused by the insured's failure to use reasonable means to preserve property after a flood.
    • A loss already in progress at the time a policy goes into effect.
    • A loss caused by off premises power failure.

    However, a complete review of your flood policy is necessary to fully determine coverage in your claim.

  • What types of property are not covered by flood insurance?

    • Accounts, bills, deeds, evidences of debt, money, coins, postage stamps, manuscripts, etc.
    • Fences, piers, seawalls, outdoor swimming pools, bulkheads, wharves, bridges, docks, boat houses on or over water.
    • Land values, lawns, trees, shrubs, plants, growing crops, livestock, animals, birds, fish.
    • Walks, driveways, and paved surfaces outside building foundation walls.
    • Motor vehicles (with exceptions), aircraft, watercraft.

    However, a complete review of your flood policy is necessary to fully determine coverage in your claim.

  • Who administers and pays on my flood insurance policy?

    Your insurance company administers your flood insurance policy and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) makes all covered loss payments.

  • How much time do I have to file a flood insurance claim from the date of loss?

    Typically, you have sixty (60) days from the date of loss to submit a Proof of Loss statement detailing the amount of your claim.

  • I do not have flood insurance and have sustained damage from rising water as opposed to rain driven rain, what can I do?

    If the President of the United States issues a "disaster declaration for your area" help may be available. To see if you can apply for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), call toll-free to 1-800-462-9029.

  • How do I determine what is wind versus flood damage?

    Locate a visible water line mark in your dwelling. Generally, damage below the water line is considered flood and any damage above the water line is considered wind.

  • Can you help me with my flood insurance claim?

    Yes, our office can help you with your flood insurance claim. You will never be responsible for any of our legal fees or our costs if we are not successful. Furthermore, you will never be asked to pay for costs up-front. If we are successful in your insurance claim, you will only pay a small percentage of the insurance settlement, usually as low as 10%. In cases where litigation (lawsuit filed) is necessary, fees increase to 40% and costs of litigation are extra. Since almost all flood insurance policies fall under a federal flood insurance program, the lawsuit would have to be filed in federal court. Because of this, federal law does not allow the insured to recover attorneys fees and costs even if you win your flood insurance case. Therefore, in flood insurance cases, attorney fees and costs would be deducted from the proceeds of the insurance settlement. However, there are flood insurance policies that were issued by a private insurance carrier and not the federal flood insurance program. Under these private carrier flood policies, your rights to recover attorney fees and costs may differ from the federal flood insurance program. Since not all flood insurance claims are alike, please call our office to arrange a free consultation with insurance claims attorney J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo to discuss your case in more detail.