What Is Considered Water Damage for Insurance Claims in Florida?

Florida homeowners report millions of dollars in damages from water every single year. That includes all manner of water incursions: 

  • Water/Sewer Backup
  • Stormwater Backup/Flooding
  • Hurricanes and Tropical Storms
  • Appliance Failures
  • Home System Failures
  • Broken or Leaking Structures 

The difficulty comes in understanding what kind of water damage is covered by your home insurance and what isn’t. Certain incidents or circumstances warrant additional coverage or special policies to guarantee protection. This may also vary by insurance company, making it all the more confusing for homeowners. 

At On Target Claims, not only can our public insurance adjusters help you get the resolution you deserve for your water damage claim, but we can also provide the guidance you need to get there. Our years of expertise in Florida insurance claims have allowed us to know exactly how to fight to get what you deserve, no matter what kind of water damage you’re dealing with. 

What Is Considered Water Damage for Insurance Claims in Florida?

Typically, a standard home insurance policy will cover water damage that results from a “sudden and/or accidental discharge of water.” This probably will exclude any issues resulting from a lack of proper maintenance or repairs, so keeping your home regularly maintained over the years is essential. 

Covered perils refer to events or situations typically covered by insurance companies regarding water damage. The Insurance Information Institute lists the most common as:

  • Fire and smoke
  • Windstorms and hail damage
  • Lightning 
  • Explosions
  • Theft
  • Vandalism or mischief
  • Damage from vehicles, aircraft, or falling objects
  • Ice, snow, or sleet (due to weight or damage caused)
  • Accidental discharge or overflow from a household system or appliance
  • Freezing of pipes, appliances, or household systems 
  • Accidental damage caused by artificial electrical currents

Notice, for Florida residents specifically, that hurricanes and tropical storms are not on the list. These are considered “named storms” and require separate named storm coverage to protect your home. 

Suppose the event that caused the water damage was related to a flood, especially for those who live in a flood plain. In that case, it should be covered by a flood insurance policy issued by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in conjunction with the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA)

If you do not get the necessary additional coverage for these water damage-related events, you will not be covered when you file a claim. 

Why Are Insurance Claims in Florida for Water Damage Denied?

There are just as many reasons for claims to be denied as there are reasons to file them. It’s the insurance company adjuster’s first job to come in and find the faults in your claim, and they will do their due diligence, above all else. Sure, it may seem like they’re there to help you assess the damage, but they always work for the insurance company first and foremost. 

Therefore, homeowners must be wise about the most common reasons for claim denials. That way, you’ll hopefully never find yourself in a position where you need to dispute a claim. If you do, of course, the public insurance adjusters at On Target Claims are here to take care of everything. 

Why are claims denied? Most commonly:

  • Flooding from coastal waters or rivers. As mentioned, you’ll need a separate flood insurance policy for this protection. Your insurance agent should tell you this when you first get coverage, but if they don’t, you might find yourself out of luck when you have a claim. 
  • Intentional acts. This one is pretty straightforward – if the damage was intentionally caused, it’s not covered. 
  • Poor maintenance or upkeep. If the plumbing is outdated or in poor shape and it fails, the insurance company may not pay. The same goes for the rest of the systems in your home. 
  • Sewer backup and overflow. This is usually something that’s related to maintenance and good repair, so many insurance policies will exclude it from coverage on a standard policy. 
  • Mold caused by water damage. It’s up to you to ensure that the water gets cleaned up promptly and effectively. If not, mold can start to grow and some insurance policies won’t cover these damages if they can prove they were preventable. 
  • Missing or inaccurate documentation. The paperwork is just as important as the coverage. You need to make sure that you submit all the documentation required and include as much proof as you can.
  • Missed deadlines. You also need to be aware of the timeline for filing a Florida water damage claim. Filing your claim promptly and following up regularly will ensure that you don’t miss any important filing deadlines that could impact your claim’s outcome.  

Some insurance claims for water damage get denied because people make repairs before the claim has been filed or completed. This can complicate the processing of the claim and often results in partial or full denials as a result. As with the mold issue, some insurers may also deny a claim if they can prove the homeowner didn’t take preventive measures to stop further damage. 

What You Can Do if Your Water Damage Claim is Denied 

If you have a water damage claim in Florida and your insurance company is being difficult about paying it, you aren’t alone in the fight. The public insurance adjusters at On Target Claims can review your case and help you fight back to get the compensation that you deserve. 

Don’t make any repairs or start cleaning up the damage until you have the go-ahead from the insurance company. Do what you can to mitigate the damage in the meantime, including temporary repairs or tarps, etc. If you feel your claim was wrongfully denied, or you want to avoid getting it denied in the first place, reach out to the team at On Target Claims today. 

We’ll provide you with a comprehensive case review and work to get what you deserve for your Florida water damage claim, no matter what you’re dealing with. We know how to handle insurance companies and care about helping you regain your home. Contact us now to learn more, or call 954-256-0541.

Related Content: Public Adjusters For Water & Mold Damage Claims in Florida

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