Is Hurricane Insurance the Same as Flood Insurance in Florida?
Although flooding is a common occurrence when hurricanes hit in Florida, flooding is not always covered by homeowner’s insurance policies that specifically mention hurricanes. Read your policy closely to ensure you have coverage for both hurricanes and flooding. This is especially important if you live in an area that is prone to flooding or located close to the coast or other bodies of water.
Hurricane Wind Damage is Covered by Law
All insurance companies in Florida are legally required to include wind damage in their home insurance policies. This is specific protection that kicks in in the event of a serious hurricane. However, they are not legally bound to offer flood insurance in the same way. Most homeowners in this hurricane-prone state purchase extra flood policies to cover the expected damage from a weather event accompanied by heavy rains and high coastal surges.
Never assume that you’ll receive a payout to cover water damage if you get a flooded basement, yard, or any type of water damage from rain that gets into your house and causes problems. When you first sign up for an insurance policy, speak with the agent and make sure you understand exactly what will be covered in different circumstances.
Purchase Separate Flood Insurance for Maximum Protection
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) makes it possible for homeowners to buy separate flood coverage in the event of a Florida hurricane. This can cover the house itself, the foundation, drywall and other wallcoverings, flooring and carpet, the electrical system, HVAC equipment and ductwork, and all other structural materials that can be damaged by rising water.
You may need a separate policy to cover the property inside your house. Submitting a hurricane claim usually gets you the current value of the covered belongings, which is often less than you want due to depreciation. Most insurance companies also offer policies that will pay out enough to replace the items completely, too.
The Hurricane Claim Submission Process
The path to getting a check from your insurance company depends largely on the circumstances surrounding the hurricane and what type of damage your property sustains. The most important thing to do is carefully document everything that was damaged by the hurricane’s winds and water. Take lots of photos or even a video walk-through to record all the details.
Understand how much your hurricane damage deductible is and be prepared to pay that out before getting additional compensation. File the claim with your insurance company, then wait. After a hurricane hits Florida, the insurance companies will be swamped with claims, which may slow down your claim process considerably. Of course, you’ll want your money as soon as possible. Everyone does. An experienced legal team can help in this regard.