Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Flood Damage After a Hurricane in Florida?

Hurricanes and Flood Damage are nothing new to Florida residents. The threat arrives each year with a new season, as tropical storms start popping up all throughout the Gulf and Atlantic.

Most Florida homeowner’s insurance policies have some language covering hurricanes and their damage. However, floods and flood damage that result from a hurricane may not be immediately included. Here’s what you need to know. 

Home Insurance Coverage in Florida

A standard homeowner’s insurance policy in Florida does not include comprehensive coverage for hurricane damage and all the potential related effects. Many policies include a separate deductible for hurricanes and named storms. There’s no such thing as a “hurricane policy,” but you can create the protection you need from the combination of a few different options. 

It’s always best to make sure that you have all the coverage you may need. Florida’s weather is unpredictable. Plus, hurricanes and tropical storms can change paths on a dime and leave many people with damages they didn’t anticipate. Fortunately, if you have the right policies in place, this won’t be a big issue. 

Named Storm Deductibles 

Named storm or hurricane deductibles are common on Florida insurance policies. These deductibles are usually higher than your standard deductible, but they will also cover more severe damages related to hurricanes, including wind damage. You will have coverage for things like loss of use and living expenses if you have to relocate during repairs, too. 

If your homeowner’s insurance policy doesn’t have a named storm or hurricane deductible, your insurance company could attempt to deny your claim. This is a good time to reach out to a public insurance adjuster for assistance in filing a claim and getting the outcome that you deserve. 

In Florida, insurance companies must offer hurricane deductibles as follows:

  • $500
  • 2%
  • 5%
  • 10%

If you choose a percentage, it’s based on the home’s insured value. So, if you have a $200,000 home and choose a 5% deductible, you’ll have to pay a $10,000 deductible before you can get hurricane coverage. 

Florida also has what’s known as a “single season” deductible, which means homeowners only have to pay one deductible per storm season, even if they are hit with damage multiple times. Once this deductible is paid, the “all other perils” deductible will be used for subsequent claims. 

Flood Insurance 

In the U.S., flood insurance is managed and monitored by FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Association, in conjunction with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). This coverage is designed to protect homeowners and business owners from flood damage specifically. It can provide compensation for damages to physical structures and personal property alike and will pay for all repairs related to flood damage. 

Flood insurance also includes its own deductible that must be paid before coverage kicks in. Although the risk of flooding is lower than other potential hazards, you still don’t want to make the deductible something that you can’t afford. Stick to $1,000 or less, and you’ll only pay a few dollars more in premiums each month. 

Windstorm Insurance 

In Florida and other hurricane-prone states, standard homeowner’s insurance policies might not always pay for windstorm damage. In this case, you may need to purchase an additional policy for windstorm protection and damages. This coverage is often available as an addition to your existing insurance policy or you can purchase it separately if you already have a policy in place and just need windstorm coverage. 

How Much Coverage Do I Need in Florida?

There is no one answer to this question. Everyone will have different needs when it comes to homeowner’s insurance and hurricane protection. Take the time to review your policy and make sure that you have coverage for your dwelling and other structures, personal property, and the loss of use coverage that was mentioned above. 

Just as with your standard home insurance policy, you’ll need to think about the value of your home and personal property. Someone with a $250,000 house is going to need different coverage than someone with a $75,000 home, for example. The coverage amount isn’t the only thing to look at, though. You also need to make sure that you have the right type of flood insurance for all the potential events that could take place. 

Review your insurance coverage now so that when a storm hits, you’re not left hanging. If you need help getting the right coverage or filing your claim, reach out to a public insurance adjuster for assistance. 

Determining the Cause of the Damage in Florida

In order to figure out which policy (or policies) should be paying your hurricane flood insurance claim, you’ll need to determine where the damage came from. This is why the insurance company sends an adjuster out. They can review the damages, determine their cause, and then decide whether coverage is available to approve the claim. Of course, the insurance company’s adjuster is looking out for them. You should have a public adjuster review your claim and make sure it gets paid properly. 

Flood insurance will cover physical damage caused by flood waters from any source, including a hurricane, overflowing bodies of water, and even groundwater from storm surges. Flash flooding is usually also covered in this policy. However, if the water was driven by wind and caused damage, it might have to be covered by windstorm insurance instead. 

As you can see, there are a lot of different variables to consider here, which is why it’s always best to have an expert on your side. When you work with the team at On Target Claims, you’ll have a dedicated public adjuster on your side to walk you through the process and get the compensation that you deserve, no matter what kind of storm damage you’re facing. 

How to Get Your Hurricane Flood Claim Approved in Florida

Adding more insurance coverage might seem like a good idea, and it definitely can be. However, it can also add to the confusion and complexity of filing an insurance claim, and you’re already dealing with enough stress. Fortunately, when you work with a public insurance adjuster, you have a much better chance of getting an outcome in your favor. If you find yourself filing a flood insurance claim due to a hurricane, here are some tips. 

Report Damage Immediately

Even if you’re not sure of the extent of the damage yet, you need to call your insurance company as soon as the hurricane or storm ends. Once you realize you need to file a claim, you should do it expediently. This keeps the insurance company on task and it keeps you from ending up in a backlog of claims with other storm victims. 

Document Damages 

You should take pictures and videos of all the damage, in addition to taking notes about what happened. Make sure that you track temporary repairs, take before and after photos, and be prepared with an inventory list for personal property replacement. This is an important step in the process because if you don’t document the damage, the insurance company might decide they aren’t going to cover it. Whether it’s serious home repairs or even the loss of your $5,500 entertainment system setup, it’s essential to document absolutely everything. 

Double-Check Coverage 

Although you can’t add coverage after an event and file a claim, you can be proactive with your homeowner’s insurance and double-check your coverage ahead of time. This will help you see what you have and what you need. It will also save you from having a claim denied because you didn’t have the right type of coverage. Make sure that you have:

  • Home insurance
  • A windstorm policy or additional coverage
  • Flood insurance issued by the NFIP

This way, you’ll have the maximum potential coverage for any claim related to hurricanes and storm floods. If you do not have flood insurance, flood damages of any kind will not be covered under your other standard home insurance coverage or storm protection. 

Ask Questions 

There’s nothing that makes the home insurance claims process easier than understanding what you’re going through. You should feel free to ask your insurance company as many questions as you have. Talk to people, get information, and make sure that you understand what’s about to happen. 

If you are looking for extra support, enlist the help of a public insurance adjuster. They can handle the process and help educate you along the way. Make sure that you know what’s expected of you and how to get the best chances of an outcome in your favor.

Let On Target Claims Handle Your Flood Insurance Claim 

While you’re busy trying to get your life back together, the insurance company is working to figure out how to get away with paying as little as possible for your flood claim. Especially with named storms and hurricanes, the damages that are paid by insurance companies can reach into the millions. Therefore, they want to make sure that they’re not paying any claims they don’t have to. 

You should have someone as diligent on your side to fight back. That’s where On Target Claims comes in. Our dedicated insurance adjusters can provide you with the support you need to negotiate with the insurance company and get a fair settlement. That way, you can focus on what matters. Contact us today to discuss your flood damage or other homeowner’s insurance needs. 

Related Content: What is the Time Limit for Filing an Insurance Claim in Florida After Property Damage?

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