Flooding in a home can cause extensive damage and destruction. Many families are displaced and the loss can be enormous. The repairs needed to make a home livable can be expensive and some insurance companies aren’t willing to pay all the losses. If you feel you are being treated unfairly after a residential flood in your Texas home, contact a flood insurance claim attorney. Attorney Bill Voss explains what you need to do to increase your claim and protect your rights.
Differences between water damage and flood
Water damage is usually included in a homeowner’s standard insurance policy while flooding is not. Flooding is only covered if there is a flood insurance policy on the home. If you live in a flood-prone area, it is wise to add a flood insurance policy to cover your home in the event of a disaster. Depending on which state you live in, flood Damage is often excluded from the standard policy and must be purchased through another entity such as FEMA or a private company licensed for flood coverage.
FEMA defines a flood as “a general and temporary condition of partial or complete flooding of two or more naturally dry acres or two or more property (at least one of which is the policyholder’s property).” Flooding can be the result of various factors such as tidal or inland water flooding, rapid build-up of surface water runoff, or mudslides. In addition, a flood can be the result of a collapse or subsidence of land along the shore of a lake or other body of water due to erosion.
Water damage can be caused by a flood, frozen or burst pipes, an overflowing toilet, or a leaking water heater. It can cause serious damage to the home and requires immediate attention. Many insurance policies cover water damage due to leaking pipes and faulty appliances.
What does flood insurance cover?
To determine what your flood insurance policy covers, you will need to read your policy carefully. 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 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 flood claims fairly and give you the maximum amount of damages and losses.
What some flood insurance policies do not cover
- Remove debris, fallen trees, etc.
- Water damage under specified conditions such as reserve sewage or from standing water or groundwater
- Mold or mildew cleaning
It can be costly to repair your home after a flood and restore it to its former condition. Homeowners are often homeless and cannot return to their homes. Floods can cause severe damage and make housing uninhabitable. Be sure to check your insurance policies before a disaster strikes so you are fully aware of what will be covered in the event of flooding or water damage.
Factors Affecting Flood Claim
After a home has been flooded, it is important to contact your insurance agent. Additionally, you may want to document your losses by taking photos, writing down items that have been damaged or lost, and getting estimates for repairs. The insurance company will send a corrector to assess the damage caused by the flood and determine the value of your claim. The insurance company may not give you the full value of your loss. Your claim may be calculated based on factors such as replacement cost based on the depreciated value of an item. Depreciation depends on the condition, age and life expectancy of the item.
If you disagree with the value placed on an item, or the adjuster attempts to reduce the total value of the replacement, you have the right to object to the claim and demand that the amount be readjusted. If you are not sure whether your claim is being treated fairly and within a reasonable time frame, or if you feel that your claim has been wrongly denied, contact an insurance claims attorney for advice. Many attorneys offer a free initial consultation and will review your claim.
Contact us for assistance with your claim
If you have suffered damage or loss after a flood in your Texas home and have been treated unfairly by the insurance company, contact an experienced insurance claims attorney to protect your legal rights and help increase your claim. To find out more, contact The Voss Law Firm, PC for a free consultation using our contact form or by calling our office at 888-614-7730. We’ve recovered billions of dollars in settlements for our policyholders’ clients and don’t charge any fees unless we win your case.