Flood Insurance vs Hurricane Insurance
Florida's unique climate and geographical location make it a paradise for those who love the sun, sand, and sea. However, these same factors can also make understanding insurance coverage a complex task for Florida homeowners. With the state's susceptibility to natural disasters such as floods and hurricanes, it's crucial to have a clear understanding of your home insurance policy and what it covers.
Living in Florida means that insurance providers may have a specific hurricane deductible due to the area's high risk for severe weather. Understanding the ins and outs of your policy is critical, but it can be difficult to unpack on your own. Attorney Jeff Pekar of Pekar Law, P.A., based in Tampa, Florida, is well-versed in this area and can provide invaluable guidance.
What's Covered by Florida Home Insurance?
When it comes to Florida home insurance policies, they typically cover damages caused by extreme winds and rain during a hurricane. This includes damage to your roof, siding, and windows. Even damages caused by storms, including those resulting from heavy snow or ice, will typically be covered under most policies.
However, these protections do not automatically extend to damage caused by flooding. In other words, if your house was damaged by flooding—even if it was the byproduct of a hurricane—your insurance may not cover any flood-related damages, unless you have purchased separate flood insurance.
As a homeowner, it's important to thoroughly review your policy to determine if you have a deductible and the specific amount. The deductible is the amount you will have to pay out of pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in.
Differences Between Flood and Hurricane Insurance Coverage
Florida, with its sunny beaches and warm weather, is truly a dream come true for many homeowners. However, the state's propensity for extreme weather conditions like floods and hurricanes makes it crucial for residents to understand the differences between flood insurance and hurricane insurance. This understanding can make all the difference when disaster strikes.
A Closer Look at Flood Insurance in Florida
Flood insurance, contrary to what many believe, is not included in standard homeowners' insurance policies in Florida. Instead, it's a separate coverage you need to purchase either through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or private insurers. This type of insurance is particularly vital for Florida homeowners living in flood-prone areas.
Flood insurance typically covers damage caused by flooding, including damage to your property and its contents. However, there are maximum coverage amounts set by the NFIP that homeowners should be aware of. It's also essential to know that flood insurance policies have a 30-day waiting period before coverage takes effect.
While flood insurance provides a safety net for homeowners against flood damages, it's important to note what it doesn't cover. For instance, damages caused by internal plumbing issues or swimming pool malfunctions are not covered. Additionally, any damage to landscaping or improvements made to basements fall outside the scope of flood insurance.
Understanding Hurricane Insurance in Florida
On the other hand, hurricane insurance covers damage caused by wind and rain during a hurricane. This includes damages to your roof, siding, windows, and more. Florida homeowners' insurance policies are legally required to cover damage caused by windstorms, including hurricanes.
However, it's worth noting that while hurricane insurance does cover wind and rain damage, it does not include damage caused by flooding alone. This is why homeowners in Florida are often motivated to purchase both flood insurance and hurricane insurance.
It's always wise to review and understand the details of both your flood insurance and hurricane insurance policies. By doing so, you can safeguard your home and peace of mind in the face of Florida's unpredictable weather patterns.
How to Submit a Claim for Damages After a Flood or Hurricane
Filing a claim for damages after a flood or hurricane can be an overwhelming process. The following is a general overview of how the insurance claim process will go:
Reach Out to an Experienced Attorney: Contact Attorney Jeff Pekar at Pekar Law, P.A. He has notable experience in assisting homeowners with claims for damages after extreme weather events. His knowledge of the process can be invaluable in pursuing your claim effectively.
Document the Damages: Start by taking detailed photos or videos of the damage. Keep any repair estimates, bills, and receipts for out-of-pocket expenses related to the incident. This evidence will be crucial when you file your claim.
Review Your Insurance Policy: Take the time to thoroughly understand your home insurance policy. Knowing what types of damages are covered and which ones aren't can help set realistic expectations about your claim.
Maintain Communication Records: Keep a record of all your interactions with your insurance company. This includes notes from phone calls, copies of emails, letters, and statements. These records can support your claim if there are disputes down the line.
Meet With the Insurance Adjuster: The insurance adjuster will inspect the damages to your home. Provide them with all necessary documentation related to the incident, including your evidence of damage.
Estimate Repair Costs and Collect Claim Payments: You'll need to get estimates for the repair work needed on your home. Once your claim is approved, you can collect payments from your insurance provider.
Consider Legal Assistance for Better Compensation: Working with an attorney like Jeff Pekar can potentially increase your compensation. His knowledge and experience can help you navigate the claims process more effectively, protecting your interests every step of the way.
Enlist Trusted Legal Support
Understanding the nuances of Florida insurance can be complex, but it's key to protecting your property. With the right guidance and information, homeowners can effectively navigate their insurance policies and protect their homes from natural disasters.
Attorney Jeff Pekar of Pekar Law, P.A. is an indispensable resource in creating and negotiating complex insurance claims. Reach out today to enlist the support and guidance you need to secure your home's future. The Tampa-based firm serves homeowners across Central and Western Florida, including Orlando, Sarasota, Fort Myers, and Lakeland.