Is your homeowners policy adequate in the event of a flood? Most standard policies do not cover flooding, so it's important to be aware of what your specific policy does and does not cover. In order to determine if you need supplemental coverage, it's important to understand the basics of floods and how they can affect homeowners. Flooding can occur anywhere there is standing water, such as a flooded basement or malfunctioning dam. Those based in Houston know how quickly flooding can occur all too well. Our experts at The Voss Law Firm discuss the options and things to consider when looking into flood insurance. The best way to protect yourself and your property is by knowing what kind of risk you are facing and getting the proper insurance coverage.
Do I Need Flood Insurance?
Floods are one of the most common and costly natural disasters in the United States. According to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), floods occur in every state, and can happen during any time of year. If you live in a designated flood zone, you are required to purchase flood insurance. However, flooding can also occur in inland areas and away from major rivers. As a result, it is important to consider buying a flood insurance policy if your house could be flooded by melting snow, an overflowing creek or pond, and hurricanes or other extreme weather events.
Flood insurance is available for renters and homeowners, but, like earthquake insurance, it is not part of standard homeowners coverage. Flood policies are provided separately by the federal government and dozens of private insurers. If you think you need flood insurance, don’t wait for a flood season warning on the evening news to buy a policy. There is a 30-day waiting period before the coverage takes effect for National Flood Insurance Program policies. Flood insurance is an important way to protect your home and belongings from the devastating effects of flooding.
Where do I get Flood Insurance?
Homeowners who live in areas at risk of flooding often purchase flood insurance to protect their property from costly damages. Flood insurance is generally sold through private insurance agents, but in some areas primary flood insurance may be available through private insurers. The NFIP offers a number of different policy options to meet the needs of different homeowners, and it is important to work with an insurance agent to find the right policy for your home. There are two types of private market flood insurance.
1) Many private insurers are now starting to offer "first-dollar" or primary flood insurance policies. These policies function similarly to NFIP policies, but they generally offer higher levels of coverage. For homeowners who live in areas at risk of flooding, primary flood insurance is an essential protection against the financial devastation that can accompany a flood. Homeowners should contact their insurance professional to find out whether private primary flood insurance is available in their area.
2) Excess flood insurance can give homeowners the peace of mind that they will be financially protected in the event of a flood. It is important to note that excess flood insurance is not the same as the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is a government-sponsored program that offers basic flood coverage to homeowners. Homeowners who need additional protection or who live in a community that does not participate in NFIP can purchase excess flood insurance from the private market.
My Flood Insurance Claim Was Denied
Flooding can be a devastating event for any homeowner. If your home is damaged by a flood, it is important to file a claim with your insurance company as soon as possible. However, sometimes insurance companies will deny claims, leaving homeowners with substantial repair bills. If your claim is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. FEMA recommends that policyholders discuss disputes with their insurers first. During the appeal process, keep a detailed record of every call you make to your insurer. Note the name and title of everyone you spoke with, what you talked about and the dates and times of each conversation. If you can’t resolve the dispute with your insurer, it may be time to get an attorney involved.
The Voss Law Firm, P.C. has been protecting policyholders’ rights for the past 16 years and, in that time, we’ve recovered billions of dollars in settlements for our clients. Ready to find out what we can do for you? Complete our online contact form or call our office at 888-614-7730 to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation with a member of our legal team. We work on contingency, so you pay nothing unless we win your case.