The recent spate of severe storms and flooding in the Southwest left many condominiums in Texas, Oklahoma, and other areas with severe water damage—and these storms also left many condominium residents without homes. As recovery efforts continue, it’s likely that condo associations and unit owners alike will have a lot of questions about who will pay for damages and how to bear the cost of repairs. However, although you may be ready to get the process started, don’t assume you know everything you need to know about insurance claims for flood and water damage in a condominium. Especially in areas where condos have been declared a total loss or unit owners have been displaced from their homes, there are a lot of difficult questions that can come up that may not come with easy answers.
Common Questions About Water and Flood Damage That Need Prompt Answers
While some condominium associations and unit owners may have no trouble resolving their claims for flood damages, others will run into challenges along the way. It’s common to run into serious questions that temporarily derail your efforts at resolution, and those questions might include:
- How will water damages be covered? There can be a big difference in how the damage from a leaky pipe and the damage from a weather-related flood are covered by the insurance company. Losses may be covered under separate flood policies held by individual owners or the condominium association, and there can even be disagreements between insurance companies over who is responsible for what damages.
- How are payments handled if residents are displaced? When unit owners are displaced, condominium associations have to have real answers to questions about association fees, rent, and mortgage payments while everyone waits for insurance payments and major repairs.
- What happens if there is a disagreement between unit owners and the condominium association? Because condominium insurance is so complicated and so many parties are often involved, it isn’t uncommon for there to be insurance disagreements between condo associations and residents. This can lead to serious personality clashes and further delays in recovery.
- What happens if there is a disagreement with the insurance company? Sometimes, insurance companies disagree with policyholders about the terms and the language of their coverage, how much their losses are worth, and other issues. If a claim is denied or seemingly can’t be resolved to the policyholder’s satisfaction, it’s time to get informed and get help moving forward.
- How does emergency aid figure into recovery? FEMA flood coverage, county emergency programs, and other types of relief are a huge boon for flood-affected areas, but using emergency aid can be very confusing for residents and businesses.
Delays Further Complicate Major Flood and Water Damage Claims for Condos
As these kinds of questions throw a wrench in the insurance process that follows a flood, there can also be a “rippling effect” of problems, including:
- Mitigating further losses while repairs are on hold. If an insurance claim takes months or years to resolve, the owners of the flooded property need to take action to mitigate water and mold damage in the meantime. If they don’t, there can be a much larger problem to deal with, and it may not be possible to recover losses. This can also create even further questions about who will pay for flood cleanup.
- Working with angry unit owners who have been displaced. Displaced unit owners often don’t understand the insurance process or how long it can take after a major flooding disaster. As they wait longer and longer to return to their homes, it can become more and more difficult to work with them through the recovery process.
Whether you are a condominium association or a unit owner, the Voss Law Firm may be able to help you fight unfair delays, avoid common problems, and maximize difficult flood claims. For more information, contact us today at 1-888-614-7730.