A flood in a home can cause extensive damage and devastation. Many families become displaced and the loss can be overwhelming. Repairs needed to make the house livable can be costly and some insurance companies are not willing to pay for all of your losses. If you feel you are being treated unfairly after a residential flood in your Texas home, contact a flood insurance claim lawyer. Attorney Bill Voss explains what you need to do to maximize your claim and protect your rights.
Differences Between Water Damage and Flooding
Water damage is typically included in a standard homeowner’s insurance policy whereas flood is not. Flooding is only covered if there is a separate flood insurance policy on the home. If you live in an area prone to flooding, it is wise to add a flood insurance policy to cover your home in the event of a disaster. Depending on the state you live in, flood damage is often excluded from a standard policy and must be purchased through another entity such as FEMA or a private company that is authorized to cover flooding.
FEMA defines flooding as a “general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land or two or more properties (at least one of which is the policyholder’s property).” Flooding can be the result of various factors such as an overflow of tidal or inland waters, rapid accumulation of runoff of surface waters, or mudslides. In addition, flooding can be the result of a collapse or subsidence of land along the shore of a lake or other body of water caused by erosion.
Water damage can happen due to flooding, frozen or burst pipes, an overflowed toilet, or a leaking water heater. It can cause serious damage to a home and requires immediate attention. Many insurance policies cover water damage due to leaking pipes, and faulty appliances.
What Is Covered Under a Flood Insurance Policy
To determine what is covered under a flood insurance policy, you will need to carefully read your policy. If you do not have a current copy of your policy, your insurance provider can help you obtain a copy. Your insurance may not pay for all of your losses, so it is best to understand what is covered in the event of a flood. Insurance companies do not always settle flooding claims fairly and give you the maximum amount for damages and loss.
What Some Flood Insurance Policies Won’t Cover
- Removal of debris, downed trees, etc.
- Water damage under specific circumstances such as a sewage backup or from standing water or groundwater
- Cleanup of mildew or mold
It can be costly to repair your house after a flood and restore it to its previous condition. Homeowners are often displaced and are unable to return to their homes. Flooding can cause extensive damage and make the dwelling unlivable. Be sure to review your insurance policies before a disaster occurs so you are fully aware of what you would be covered for in the event of a flood or damage due to water.
Factors that Affect a Flood Claim
After flooding in a home, it is important to contact your insurance agent. In addition, you may want to document your losses by taking photos, writing down items that have been damaged or lost, and getting estimates for repair. The insurance company will send out an adjuster to assess the damage from the flood and determine a value for your claim. The insurance company may not give you the full value for your loss. Your claim may be calculated based on factors such as the cost of replacement based on the depreciated value of an item. Depreciation is based on the item’s condition, age, and useful life expectancy.
If you disagree about the value placed on an item, or the adjuster tries to depreciate the overall value for replacement, you have the right to dispute the claim and ask for the amount to be readjusted. If you are uncertain if your claim is being handled fairly and within a reasonable time frame, or if you feel that your claim has been wrongfully denied, contact an insurance claims lawyer for advice. Many lawyers provide a free, initial consultation and will review your claim.
Contact Us For Help With Your Claim
If you have suffered damage or loss after a flood in your Texas home and are being treated unfairly by the insurance company, contact an experienced insurance claim attorney to protect your legal rights and help maximize your claim. To learn more, contact The Voss Law Firm, P.C. for a free consultation by using our contact form or by calling our office at 888-614-7730. We have recovered billions of dollars in settlements for our insurance policyholder clients and do not charge a fee unless we win your case.