Every winter, there is terrible news in Miami regarding overflowing rivers due to heavy rain. In recent years, groundwater and surface water flooding have become a big problem for homeowners, business owners, planners, developers, and local governments.
What can you do if flooding has damaged your home? Will your insurance company compensate for the damage if you have homeowners, renters, commercial, or another type of property insurance? What if they delay, stall, or fail to pay? Can you file a flood damage claim with your insurance company in case of flooding on your premises?
In rare cases, you might be able to get fully paid for losses caused by a flood. If the flood should and could have been stopped, there may be a reason to file a claim with your insurance provider. It would be best to talk to a Miami flood damage lawyer at Klotzman Property Damage Law, as these claims can be complicated.
Our property damage lawyers are second to none. Contact us at 954-915-7405 for a free case review!
What Should You Do After Flood Damage?
So, what is the next step after your home has been affected by floods? Here is what to do:
- Look For Safety: Evacuate to a safe place until it’s safe to return to your house. When you get home, you should have an electrician check all your electrical outlets and equipment to ensure nothing has changed. In addition, ensure the structures are in good shape before returning. Look for cracks and broken glass on the floor and bowing walls and floors.
- Call Your Insurance Company: Call your insurance company after documenting what happened after the flooding. Make sure to provide them with as many details as possible so they can help you get your needed compensation. Take their advice if they tell you to wait for an adjuster to look at your property before making repairs.
- Clean The Debris: Clean off the damaged things but do not throw all of them away. Keep pieces of items, like damaged carpet, flooring, curtains, etc., to show your adjuster. Please take pictures and videos of the mess before cleaning it.
- Talk To A Lawyer: Your insurance company might not always cover you as it said it would. Insurance companies are known for taking a long time to pay insurance claims because the damages are usually big, especially in flooding cases. You need a qualified Miami flood damage attorney on your side if you want your insurance company to pay out on flood-related claims.
How Is Flood Damage Defined?
Flood damage is a detailed list of all a flood’s direct and indirect costs. Direct costs are those that come right from the flood’s damage. For example, if a flood causes your back deck to fall, that could cause immediate damage. Over time, indirect costs like lost business and personal income, lower property values, and emotional pain add up after a flood.
Flood Damage Effects On You
People who try to fix their homes, businesses, and communities after a flood may have to deal with some of the worst and most painful damage. Flooding is not only hard on people’s bodies and minds but also very hard on their finances, and can cost a lot. Here are some impacts of flooding:
Damage from floods can’t be ignored or forgotten for long. Not all homeowners whose homes were damaged by floods have another place to live. When this happens, the flood victims can be prone to:
- Toxic mold: The effects of flood waters on a home can be dangerous to health, like toxic mold growth or high humidity from wet furniture.
- Bacteria and diseases: When big floods occur in a city, sewage can mix with the flood water, spreading bacteria and infections.
It would help if you started fixing the water damage after flooding as soon as possible to stop more property loss and limit the damage. Water damage can cause you to lose a lot of money and cause damage to the building or property as a whole. This might put you in financial constraint when:
- Seeking a safe evacuation place: You need to move to a safe place after your home is flooded, which might be expensive.
- Repairing the property from water damage: You need to mitigate the loss after returning to your home. The repairs can see you through severe financial turmoils.
Common Reasons A Flood Damage Claim Might Be Denied
Even though every situation is different, there are a few common reasons your insurance provider may decline your mold damage claim. If you know these reasons, you may be better able to spot insurance bad faith and understand your rights and options in the future. They include;
- The damaging event does not qualify as a flood: Insurance companies will look into what caused the flooding and what was going on at your premises when the flooding happened. If your insurance company thinks the event doesn’t meet the standards for a flood, they will not pay for your losses.
- Insufficient proof of damages: As a property owner, one of your duties when you file a claim for property damage, is to show the insurance company the losses and damages. Carefully and thoroughly document the damage done to your property. You can take pictures of the damage and send them along with your claim.
- Late claim: The Florida Statutes dictate that property owners must inform their insurers about any damage to their property as soon as possible. Your insurer may not pay out on your claim unless you file the submission on time. Check your property carefully after a flood to protect your right to get paid.
- Pre-existing damage: Damage already there before the floods will often not be covered. If the insurance company can prove that the property has been damaged before or hasn’t been taken care of well over time, they may not pay your claim. You can keep this from happening by reporting any damage as soon as it happens and making regular repairs as needed.
- Failure to mitigate: When a covered event, like a flood, causes damage to your property, your insurance policy requires you to take steps to limit your losses. This means making sure your property doesn’t get hurt again or later. You are responsible for fixing any damage to your roof, like a storm hole, so that water damage doesn’t happen. If you don’t take steps to mitigate any further damage, your insurance company may not pay out on your claim.
If an insurance company says no to your claim, they are not likely to change their mind unless you can show them more proof to back up your case. This is why it is important to talk to an experienced Miami flood damage attorney before submitting a claim.
Also, insurers are less likely to turn down a valid claim when a lawyer is there. Even if your claim has already been turned down, our flood damage lawyer in Miami can do a lot of research to see if there is a chance of getting your insurance company to change its mind.
How Can A Flood Damage Lawyer Help My Claim?
Flood damage can be devastating, leading to sewage backups, floor-to-ceiling structural damage, and adverse health conditions. You shouldn’t leave your flood insurance claim to chance when so much is at stake. Here’s how our flood damage lawyers in Miami can help you file a claim for flood damage.
Help You Understand Your Flood Insurance Policy
When you buy homeowners insurance, your agent might forget to explain to you what the policy covers. When a flood happens, a Miami flood damage attorney can help you carefully review your policy to know your rights and benefits better.
Navigate The National Flood Insurance Program
FEMA and private insurers work together to give flood insurance to communities at risk through the National Flood Insurance Program. This effort aims to help people hurt by flood damage quickly get back on their feet after the disaster. An experienced Miami flood damage lawyer will help you do it right, on time, and without extra stress.
Set Up And Look At The Evidence
Once you have gathered all of your evidence and given it to your lawyer, they can use it to figure out how much your claim is worth. Our Miami flood attorneys at Klotzman Property Damage Law will help you determine what each piece of evidence means for your case and what it means in general. The more proof you have to back up your claim, the more likely you will get a fair amount of money.
Adhere To The Deadlines And Turn In The Hard Paperwork
Dates for filing flood insurance claims are usually very short. Such claims may also require a lot of complicated paperwork that is hard for people with less experience to understand. A flood damage lawyer in Miami can help you translate these documents and ensure they are correctly filed.
Negotiate With The Insurance Company
The insurance company cares more about making money than helping you get better. They want you to take an initial settlement offer that isn’t fair so that you can’t ask for more money. Hire a flood damage lawyer in Miami to fight for you and your best interests and stop your insurance company from taking advantage of you.
Get Professional Help From A Miami Flood Damage Attorney At Klotzman Property Damage Law
Flood damage can be hard on you, and the insurance company that handles your claim won’t make it any easier. In reality, the financial stakes and possible insurance claim advantages in a flood damage situation are too high to take a chance on if you don’t have the right knowledge and skills.
The Miami flood damage attorney at Klotzman Property Damage Law can help you file a claim with your insurance company if floods damage your property. We can help you from the beginning of your claim or after your flood damage claim was unexpectedly turned down.
We know you’ve lost a lot, and we want to help you get back as much of it as possible. Contact us at 954-915-7405 to talk to our flood damage lawyers.