There is no question that hurricanes are a part of life in Louisiana. The damage these storms can cause is dramatic, but insurance coverage exists to help residents rebuild. Not all insurance is the same, and you might be surprised to learn that not every policy will cover hurricane damage. Specifically, hurricane insurance is not the same as flood insurance. These policies might not be there for every loss following a hurricane.
In general, hurricane insurance covers damages caused by strong winds. The reality with many hurricanes is that numerous weather effects could cause extreme damage. Without the proper insurance coverage, you could be paying for this damage on your own. Should your insurance deal with you in bad faith, an attorney might be able to help you get the benefits you deserve.
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What Is Hurricane Insurance?
There is no such thing as “hurricane insurance” in the traditional sense. You will not be required to carry an additional policy specific to hurricane damage for your home. Instead, the homeowner’s policy that covers your home in a variety of circumstances is also designed to pay for the damage strong winds from a hurricane can cause.
There is an important caveat to understand regarding hurricane damage and homeowners’ claims. Louisiana is one of 19 states that allow insurance companies to charge something known as a “hurricane deductible.” With a hurricane deductible, you could be required to pay a substantially higher deductible before the insurance company will cover your damages. Typically, insurance companies will base a hurricane deductible on the value of the home that is insured. This differs from the flat dollar amount that comes with most deductibles.
Another important thing to understand about hurricane coverage through a homeowners policy is that this insurance will not cover every aspect of hurricane damage. This type of coverage will pay for damage caused by wind, but it will not cover the damage related to flooding.
What Is Flood Insurance?
Unlike so-called hurricane insurance, flood insurance is a type of insurance policy that is separate from a homeowners policy. Property owners that lack flood insurance could be in dire financial straights after a hurricane. While hurricanes are known for powerful wind, much of the damage that occurs to Louisiana homes involves flooding.
Flood insurance is particularly common in states like Louisiana that have a significant history of hurricanes. These policies could provide monetary benefits in cases where rising waters damage the home or property of the policyholder. Flooding is not only possible during a hurricane, but this damage is also likely in the aftermath of a hurricane. Flooding can occur several days after the strong winds of a hurricane subside.
Flood insurance is often required by mortgage lenders. This requirement is especially common for homes that are located in areas considered high-risk for hurricanes or flooding.
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An Attorney Could Help With Your Claim
The process of filing an insurance claim with your carrier can be nerve-wracking. The stress of hurricane damage is high enough as it is, and dealing with the insurance company can be even more difficult. An attorney could assist you with resolving your claim and protecting your rights. Some of the ways a hurricane insurance attorney could help with your hurricane or flood insurance claim include:
Assessing Your Damages
Before you can secure benefits through an insurance claim, it is necessary for you to evaluate the damage to your property. Your attorney could help you document every aspect of your damage, from your home to its contents.
Reviewing Your Policy
The terms of insurance policies can differ dramatically. For that reason, it is vital to understand what your policy will and will not cover. These documents can be difficult to parse on your own, but an attorney could review your policy and advise you on your coverage.
Communicating with the Insurance Company
Dealing with the insurance company is more than just a hassle. Insurance adjusters have been known to act in bad faith when it comes to hurricane insurance claims, and this is especially common with policyholders that lack legal representation. An attorney could communicate with the insurance company so you don’t have to.
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Discuss Your Hurricane Damage with our Firm
Understanding the differences between flood and hurricane insurance is only the first step toward securing monetary benefits after a hurricane. If your property has been damaged, your insurance policy could be the only thing that keeps you from covering those losses on your own.
The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine are ready to help you pursue your insurance claim in the aftermath of a hurricane. Our team could help ensure you are treated fairly by your insurer. Call 1-800-747-3733 right away for your free consultation.