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Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Flood Damage in Hollywood, Florida?

Anybody who lives in Florida knows that it’s a state very prone to flooding. Whether it’s a hurricane or tropical storm, there’s always a chance that your home could be damaged or destroyed in a flood. Our flood damage attorneys in Hollywood have helped clients whose insurance claims were not paid.

Here, we will explain how flood insurance works and what you need to do to protect your real and personal property.

Florida Ranks 4th in the Country When it Comes to Flood Risk

Many people, even those who live in Florida, assume that Florida is the worst state in the union when it comes to flooding. Believe it or not, it comes in fourth place as far as the worst flooding in the country.

Just because it’s not the worst state for flooding does not mean that homeowners in Florida can escape the wrath of tremendous flood damage. It is estimated that as many as 27% of homeowners in Florida will experience flood damage before their mortgage is even paid off.

Certain Homeowners in Florida Have a 25% Flood Risk During the Life of Their Mortgage

According to FEMA, there are over 2.5 million residents in Florida whose homes are designated as being in a flood hazard area. Of these homes, close to 25% can expect to suffer severe flood damage at some point.

Given the extreme risk of flood damage, the federal government has implemented a program to help make flood insurance affordable for Florida homeowners. This program is called the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Homeowners Insurance Does Not Cover Flood Damage

The main reason that the government offers this protection is because homeowners’ policies do not cover flood damage. That does not mean that your policy doesn’t cover normal water damage.

For example, if you suffer damage to your roof in a terrible rainstorm, or you had a pipe burst, there’s a good chance your homeowner’s insurance would cover that.

It’s just when it comes to flooding that you’re either on your own or you purchase a separate flood insurance policy.

It Doesn’t Matter Where in the Country You Live

One question clients ask our flood damage attorney in Hollywood is whether this lack of coverage is limited to people in Florida. Many homeowners assume that people who live in the Northeast or the Midwest have flood damage covered in their normal homeowners’ policies.

The truth is that no insurance company is going to wrap flood insurance under their standard homeowner’s policy. The damage that can be caused by even minor flooding is so severe that insurance companies cannot afford to catch flood damage within any other policies.

You Must Buy Separate Flood Insurance or Add It to Your Existing Policy

If you want to protect your home, you have two options. You can either buy a separate policy that only covers damage caused by flooding. Or you can ask your homeowners’ insurance company if they can add an endorsement for flood risk to your existing policy.

Our flood damage attorneys in Hollywood always advise our clients not to skimp when it comes to purchasing flood insurance. Given that the average yearly premium for flood insurance is less than $1,000 a year, it does not make sense to entertain the risk.

You Should Purchase Flood Insurance Immediately Upon Buying Your Home

Not only does our flood damage attorney in Hollywood recommend that you purchase flood insurance, but they recommend that you purchase it as soon as you buy your home.

Depending on where you live in Florida, you may be required to purchase flood insurance if you carry a mortgage. If you live in one of the high-risk areas, sections A or V according to FEMA, flood insurance will be mandatory.

Lawyer explaining flood damage insurance claim

What Does the Average Flood Insurance Policy Cover?

If you’re going to spend close to $1,000 a year on flood insurance, you should at least know what it covers. One important thing you need to keep in mind is that the policy limits on your standard flood insurance policy are rather low.

For example, if you’re going to get your insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program, it will not cover more than $250,000 in property damage. If, however, you purchase private insurance, your coverage may be extended to $500,000 or higher.

In addition to damage to your structure, you’ll want to make sure that you have decent coverage for your personal property.

Structural Damage

Any flood insurance policy you buy is going to cover the structure of your home. It should also cover any damage to your garage and other attached structures.

Whether you have private insurance or insurance through FEMA, there will be a limit on how much coverage you have.

If your home is worth more than $250,000, it’s a good idea to purchase an additional, supplemental flood insurance policy. Otherwise, if your home is destroyed in a flood, you will not have enough coverage to rebuild.

Personal Property Damage

In addition to covering your structures, your flood insurance will also cover your personal property damage. Most policies will offer anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000 in coverage for your personal property.

Personal property would include anything from furniture to clothes, artwork to jewelry. Just make sure when you first meet with your flood damage attorney in Hollywood you have a comprehensive list of what was damaged or destroyed.

This way, when you submit your claim to the insurance company, you get every penny you deserve.

Loss of Use Coverage

If you purchase private flood insurance, there’s a good chance you’ll have coverage for loss of use. This means that if you need to vacate your home while they make repairs, your housing and meals should be covered.

It is important to point out that if you get insurance through FEMA, you will not have loss of use coverage. This means you should definitely buy an additional rider or endorsement to cover these things.

A Flood Damage Attorney in Hollywood Can Help if Your Claim is Denied

Whichever type of flood insurance you decide to buy, there is always a chance that your insurance claim could be denied. If this happens to you, make sure you contact our property damage attorneys in Hollywood, FL right away.

You will only have a certain period to file an appeal, and you do not want to miss this window.

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