Flood Damage Claims in Florida

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Flood Damage Claims in Florida

Flooding is one of the most common causes of damage to homes in the US each year. Flash floods, storms, hurricanes, and rivers and lakes can all lead to flood damage, even if a home is located far away from a body of water.

Flood damage can cause significant and catastrophic damage to your home and property. Mold, mildew, and undermining of the foundation of homes can lead to repairs that cost thousands of dollars and can take years to be completed. Flood insurance is often required to be purchased by those living in historic flood plains but might be optional for homeowners in Florida who are not located in these areas.

If your home has suffered damage due to flooding and your insurance claims have been denied, you need to secure the help of a skilled legal team right away. These kinds of insurance denials can be appealed, and the lawyers at the Lopez Law Group are happy to represent you as you fight your insurance company denial.

How Does Flood Insurance in Florida Work?

Flood insurance can be confusing for homeowners. Flood insurance itself is purchased from the federal government through FEMA. This coverage is not actually a built-in part of your homeowner’s insurance policy. Claims and other kinds of correspondence related to flood damage have to be directed at FEMA and not the insurance company that homeowners purchased their homeowner’s policy from.

Most basic homeowner’s insurance policies in the state of Florida do not cover damage from water, flooding, or mold. This is not always discussed with homeowners when a policy is purchased, leading to a bad surprise when water damage happens to the home in question.

Getting flood insurance through FEMA can be a lengthy process, and the waiting period for your policy to be reviewed and bound can take as much as 30 days. If your home should suffer flooding damage during this time period, you will have no recourse to get assistance with the cost of rebuilding or repairing your home.

In addition, flood insurance can be very expensive, and sometimes homeowners are directed to pay for an additional premium cost that covers the first flooding event that may or may not happen to their property. This can be very discouraging for homeowners and even more upsetting when claims are denied after the FEMA process has been completed.

Those living in high-risk areas are much more likely to run into issues with insurance denials in bad faith. While insurance companies are not always going to behave in this illegal way, there are many instances in places like Florida where insurance claims are denied incorrectly or in bad faith.

When you have received a denial of your flooding damage claim, it is time to speak with a skilled legal expert. There are limited reasons why an insurance company or FEMA can deny a flood claim if there is active coverage on your home and property at the time of a flood event. A skilled legal team can help support your efforts to have the denial appealed so that you can afford to rebuild or repair your home.

Flood Damage Claims in Florida

Filing a Flood Claim

In some cases, you can reach out to your regular homeowner’s insurance company and ask them to help you to file a claim with FEMA. This is not a service that is offered by every insurance company, but some companies do provide this support for their insureds.

Once the claim has been opened, it is time to call your lawyer. There are many reasons why a legal expert can be a big benefit to the claims process even before the claim has been denied. Flood insurance can be complex and there are often many small limiting factors and details that might impact the outcome of your claim. Having a skilled and experienced legal team looking at the information associated with your policy and FEMA’s flood mapping can make a big difference along the way as your claim is reviewed and processed.

Florida law is always very specific when it comes to flooding, as this kind of damage is so common in this state. There might be information, forms, or other steps that you need to take in order to get your claim processed correctly and rapidly. Having an expert to help with the intricacies of this part of the claims reporting process can be invaluable when it comes to peace of mind and getting results.

A lawyer can also help to ensure that your claim is processed in a timely manner. The government does not move rapidly through any kind of process, and it can take months for flood claims to be resolved. This can mean months of living at friends’ or family’s homes or trying to finance repairs and other costs on your own out of pocket in order to get your home back to its former condition.

The team at Lopez Law has years of experience with these kinds of cases and can help you to secure the funding that you need from your claim settlement as soon as possible. Getting your home back to its former state and condition is our main goal, and we have the skills to create positive outcomes for your claims process quickly.

Added Flood Claim Considerations

Flood damage can lead to progressive damage to your home. Many homeowners incorrectly believe that they have to wait to make repairs to their homes or to apply preventative measures to halt the spread of damage after a flooding event. In reality, you will need to take action to prevent mold, moisture, and other issues from causing extensive and widespread damage in the weeks after a flooding event.

The team at Lopez Law can advise you about the best ways to get access to professional services that will help to prevent progressive damage over time while you are waiting for your flood claim to be resolved and paid out. These services are an added expense, but this cost is necessary in most flooding situations.

If your home suffers progressive damage related to a lack of preventative measures after a flood, this part of the damage will often not be paid out on by the insurance company. In addition, your entire claim could be denied due to your lack of action to prevent the spread of damage over time while your claim is being processed.

Fla. Stat. § 95.11 sets the statute of limitations at five years for flood damage. In the case of flooding damage that is related to a hurricane, the statute of limitations is only three years. The reason for these limitations is that these kinds of incidents are often connected with statewide emergencies. These emergencies allow insurance companies to collect emergency funding from other entities to help pay out on claims for flood damage. If you do not get your claim submitted within a reasonable amount of time, the major incident is closed, and your claim is denied.

These kinds of denials are often very difficult to fight since the statute of limitations was exceeded. This is yet another reason to make sure that you have the help of a skilled legal team when you are navigating the flood claims process.

Flood Damage Claims in Florida

New Florida Laws

There are actually new laws on the books in the state of Florida related to flooding claims. These claims have been very prevalent over the last five years due to an increase in tropical storm damage and other kinds of flooding-related claims. Florida has been rocked by numerous very large storms in recent years, and many homeowner’s insurance companies have gone bankrupt or have been forced to cease offering insurance in the state of Florida due to high-dollar storm claims. The insurance picture in the state of Florida is in a state of flux, which has caused issues with payouts on homeowner’s and flood claims in recent years.

Today, Florida insurance companies are permitted to withhold payments for home damage until the repairs have been made. This means that they can get an exact estimate of the amount that was spent to repair the property so that the company can pay out based on the precise dollar amount of the repairs.

The problem with this new law is that most homeowners do not have the cash on hand that is needed to repair their homes after a flood. This law actually defeats most of the purpose of having homeowners’ insurance in the first place. Homeowners are also at the mercy of the accuracy of the estimates that repair companies might offer them. If repairs cost more than the company stated in its estimate, homeowners are often not paid the difference that they paid out of pocket.

The lawyers at Lopez Law Group will work hard to ensure that you are not left with no options when it comes to repairing your home after a flood. We believe that homeowners in the state of Florida deserve to have the support of their insurance company, whether their home has suffered flooding damage, fire damage, or wind damage. Just because a claim is related to water damage does not mean that it should be denied or placed in a holding pattern until the homeowner pays for repairs on their own.

Being able to afford to get back on your feet and back into your home after a flood should not be a struggle. The team at Lopez Law will work diligently to support client needs and rights during the flood claims process.

What Can a Skilled Lawyer Do for You?

Whether you have already filed your flood claim or you are just deciding what to do first after your home has been damaged, a lawyer can help. There are many essential investigative steps that must be taken when a flood has damaged your home. You will also need to collect estimates of the damage to your property from a variety of different experts in order to be able to secure a claims payout.

Your lawyer will be able to tackle all of these essential steps to ensure that your claim is not delayed because of a lack of information and other documentation problems. At Lopez Law, we offer you the chance to let us tackle the hard parts of the claims process so that you can worry about caring for your family during this tough time. We will make sure that FEMA and your homeowner’s insurance company are not bothering you with claims questions and details as we seek a favorable outcome for your claim.

Being able to hand off the difficult parts of the flood claims process to an expert team is always ideal. Even if your home has not suffered major damage due to a flood, the claims process requires all of the same steps and can be impacted by all the same complexities as significant, high-dollar damage claims. Your lawyer will tackle all of the hard work related to the claims process so that you can worry about what you and your family need to be safe and healthy while you wait for your claim payout to be released.

Flood Damage Claims in Florida

Lopez Law Has Years of Experience With Flood Claims

At Lopez Law Group, we treat our clients like family, and we make sure that we handle each case with compassion and attention to detail. You can trust us to be proactive, communicative, and effective as we support your claims case. We are able to handle negotiations related to the settlement process and can also offer clients skilled representation in court.

When you choose to work with us at Lopez Law, you can trust that your claim is being handled with skill and care during each step of the process. Whether you have just submitted your claim or your claim has been denied, we will work hard to seek a positive and favorable outcome for your case. You can trust us to take care of each step of the flood claim process with ease. Contact us today for a consultation so that we can get started helping you with your flood damage claim.

Related:

Hurricane Damage Claims in Florida

Hail or Roof Damage Claims in Florida

Contractor Negligence in Florida

Construction Defect Claims in Florida

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