Key Facts All Homeowners Should Know about the Risk of Flood and Flood Insurance Claims

J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo
Founder of J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo, P.A.

Although this blog has previously pointed out that standard homeowner’s policies do not generally provide flood coverage, we hear from enough people that only learn this tough lesson after it is too late.  This inaccurate assumption is probably one of the most widely held misconceptions about homeowner’s insurance.  This blog post provides important information every consumer needs to know about flood coverage.

Can I wait until a storm or other situation arises where flooding is possible before obtaining flood insurance?

Flood insurance policies include waiting periods that are designed to prevent people from manipulating actuarial tables by purchasing coverage when weather forecasts make the possibility of such a loss more likely.  To recover for damage caused by flooding, coverage must be in place for 30 days prior to the date of loss.

Am I out of luck if I have no flood insurance when my basement fills with water a foot deep?

False assumptions based on the everyday use of the word “flood” often lead people to assume that they have no recourse to deal with standing water in the lower level of a home.  However, the term flooding involves a specialized meaning within the context of insurance coverage.  If the standing water in the basement or lower floor of the house is the product of a faulty water heater or burst pipe, these claims often will be covered under a typical homeowner’s insurance policy.  If the same water covering the flooring of your basement or bottom level of your home is the product of a storm, this water damage generally will not be covered by standard homeowner’s policies.

Is there really a significant risk of storm-related flood damage if I live in Miami or the surrounding areas?

During the preceding five years, every state in the U.S. has experienced flooding of some sort.  In many cases, damage was caused by flash flooding, which generates walls of water that can be a dozen feet high or higher.

Do I need flood insurance if I do not live in a flood zone?

Although many people assume that they are not at risk if they do not live in flood zones, approximately twenty percent of all floods occur outside of areas identified by the National Flood Insurance Program as high risk.  Approximately a third of insurance payouts are for flooding in areas that are not considered high risk areas.

Why do I need flood insurance given that the risk of flood is so low?

The risk of experiencing a flood is more significant than many people recognize.  Most people would not consider foregoing fire insurance, but the risk of flood damage is much greater.  The probability that a homeowner will have their residence damaged by fire is only 9 percent whereas the risk of flood damage is 26 percent.

What is the typical value of a flood claim?

The average amount of a flood claim is a staggering $42,000, so homeowners take a very significant risk if they do not secure flood insurance.

Our Miami flood insurance claims law firm invites you to contact us if you are having difficulties with your insurance company.  Florida insurance claims lawyer J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo handles claims against insurance companies 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.

1 Comments
It would be to the homeowners benefit to receive the first check from Nfip before giving a PA or an attorney and part of the money they would receive anyways. Then hire they to do their job to get you more money if it do to you. This way you will long have to split the money they earned for you. I am a flood and commercial adjuster that has watch people give money always for no reason. But there is a need for PA and Attorney because their are a lot of bad adjuster and insurance that don,t know what they are doing. or just don't want to pay. I personally believe you as the insured pay a large premium and are due to the the maximum your policy legal entitlements of homeowner (no more no less) I have been doing this for over eight years. I wish the insured would read their policy before I get to their front door.
by Michele Flores March 13, 2016 at 12:16 AM
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