Many wonder if hurricane insurance is the same as flood insurance. By law, insurance policies covering properties in Florida must cover damage caused by wind during a hurricane. These protections do not extend to damage caused by flooding, however. If you have sustained property damage due to flooding from a hurricane or other weather-based event, your homeowner’s insurance policy will not typically cover the damage unless you have separate flood insurance. This type of insurance can be purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or from your insurance agent.
Flood insurance will pay for damage to the contents of your home, but generally pays out based on your items’ actual value after depreciation. However, you can purchase replacement cost coverage that replaces lost property with new property with no regard to depreciation.
When you submit a claim for damages after a hurricane, there is usually a special hurricane deductible you must satisfy first. The deductible is the amount that is subtracted from your insurance claim check for property damage or loss. Generally, the hurricane deductible ranges between one percent and five percent of the insured value of the home—though it may also be a flat dollar amount.
Submitting a Claim for Damages After a Hurricane
Taking photos or videos of your home is helpful when submitting your claim, especially if you can collect before-and-after images that illustrate the extent of the damage and the condition of your home and property from before the damage occurred. Flood damage can also affect your property in ways you cannot easily see, including:
Knowing Your Rights as a Policyholder
Knowing your rights as a policyholder will help you navigate the insurance system when you first file your claim. But if the insurance company denied your claim or is refusing to pay out what you need to repair or rebuild, it may be helpful to hire an attorney to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Once you have filed a claim, you have:
- The right to receive an acknowledgment from your insurance company within 14 days;
- The right to be notified whether your claim will be fully covered, partially covered, denied, or investigated further within 30 days after filing a Proof of Loss with your insurance company; and,
- The right to receive a full settlement, partial payment, or denial of your claim within 90 days.
Help Is Available if You Need It
If your insurance company denied or undervalued your claim, or is refusing to investigate the claim, call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine for a no-cost and no-obligation consultation at 1-800-747-3733. There are no attorney fees unless and until we settle your claim or receive compensation on your behalf. We will represent you during every phase of your claim, speak on your behalf with all the parties involved, protect your rights, and keep you informed every step of the way. We understand how hurricane insurance is not the same as flood insurance in Florida and can assist you with your initial claim with your insurance company and with your appeal. Let us help you get back on the road to recovery.