Most homeowners know that insurance is important to protect their homes, families, and belongings. However, with flood and water damage, it is not always as straightforward as it should be. Insurers have particular definitions of “flood damage” and “water damage” that require different policies and can sometimes make a case ambiguous. Insurance companies may deny or underpay your claim by taking advantage of clauses on policies and questioning whether the coverage applies. Fortunately, our legal team at Cecere Santana can help you understand your policy and help you with your insurance claim. If needed, we can even file a lawsuit to make sure your claim is paid, and your property is restored.
Flood Damage vs. Water Damage
Most insurers classify flood damage separately from water damage for their policies. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) define a flood as “a general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land areas” covering two-plus acres or two or more properties, including the policyholder’s, due to overflowing inland or tidal water, excessive runoff, or mudslides. This is held as distinct from other forms of water damage, which generally occur before the water hits the ground—this can include leaks caused by severe rainfall, a broken water line within the house, or even hail damaging a window and allowing water in.
How Insurers Might Challenge Your Claim
Insurance companies may not act in good faith when evaluating your water damage claim. Water damage is often covered by homeowner’s insurance, but policies vary between companies as to what specifically is covered. Often, an insurer may question whether the damage was unavoidable or not, such as in the event of faulty plumbing in the home. Situations involving underground pipes or sewage overflow following a storm may create gray areas between “flood damage” versus “water damage” that an insurer may rule differently than you would like. Also, secondary problems caused by a broken pipeline, such as mold growth encouraged by moisture, can take time to become noticeable; the resulting damage can exceed the compensation you were given.
Insurance Attorneys Can Help
Understanding the fine details of insurance policies, and the long-term effects of water damage is vital for homeowners, especially immediately after a water line breaks. If your home has suffered water damage and your insurer denied or underpaid your claim, turn to the insurance lawyers at Cecere Santana. Our attorneys are well-experienced in dealing with insurers and have helped clients across South Florida receive the compensation they need to restore their homes. Call us at 800-753-5529 or visit our contact page to schedule a free consultation and see what we can do for you.
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