Especially due to recent events with hurricane Ian having caused as much damage as it did, many people wonder if hurricane insurance is considered to be the same as having flood insurance. The short answer is, sort-of.
Florida law requires that insurance policies covering Florida properties must cover wind-related damage (Florida Statutes SS627.712). However, these protections do not cover flooding damage.
Your homeowner's insurance policy won't cover property damage caused by flooding due to a hurricane or any other weather-related event unless you specifically have separate flood insurance. This insurance, homeowner's insurance, and personal umbrella insurance can all be purchased directly with your Richard Dean Insurance agent.
Flood insurance covers damage to your home's contents, but it generally pays out on the actual value of your items after depreciation. You can buy replacement cost coverage, or a personal umbrella insurance policy, which replaces the property that was lost with new property without regard to depreciation.
What does Florida Homeowner's Insurance Cover?
Many types of homeowner's insurance policies are covered by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. The most basic policies cover damage events such as:
Accidents involving aircraft or vehicles
Florida law requires residential property policies to include windstorm coverage. This coverage must be included in the policies of insurance companies. However, policyholders have the option to waive this requirement.
Flood damage is not included in this basic coverage. For flood protection, homeowners in Florida should absolutely buy an additional flood policy.
Florida Hurricane Coverage: The Roof Damage Loophole
Although homeowner's insurance policies don't cover flooding damage, there may be a loophole in your policy. This loophole exists because policies in Florida usually cover roof damage and damage due to hurricane-force winds.
Rain can cause severe water damage to your home if your roof is damaged.
This means that if you can link the water damage to your house's roof damage caused by hurricane-force winds, this may allow you to include it in your claim.
Hurricane Damage Deductibles
You must first meet a special hurricane-deductible requirement when you file a claim for damages following a hurricane in Florida. This is as detailed by the Florida Division of Consumer Services. Florida is one of many states that allow hurricane deductibles because it is a hurricane-prone area.
The deductible is independent from your homeowner's insurance, but only in certain situations. It is activated when there is damage to your home due to National Weather Service-declared Hurricanes. You don't have pay it again if you suffer damage from more than one hurricane in the same year.
Your insurance claim for property damage or loss will include a deductible. The hurricane deductible is generally between 1 and 5 percent of the home's insured worth. However, it can also be a flat dollar amount.
Submission of a Claim for Damages Following a Hurricane
When submitting your hurricane property claims, it is helpful to take photos and videos of your house. Especially if you have before-and-after pictures that show the extent of damage to your property and how it was before it happened.
In some cases, you may not be able to see how flood damage affects your property for things like:
Know Your Rights as a Policyholder
Understanding your rights as a policyholder can help you navigate the insurance process when you file your first claim. If the insurance company denies your claim or refuses you the amount you need to rebuild or repair, you may want to seek legal representation.
After you file a claim, there are two things you can do:
You have the right to an acknowledgement from your insurance company within fourteen days.
You have the right to be informed if your claim is fully or partially covered by your insurance company within 30 days of filing a Proof Of Loss.
You have the right to receive either a partial or full settlement of your claim within 90-days.
Richard Dean Insurance is Here to Help
It can be difficult to recover from a severe storm, especially if it causes flood damage. It can be difficult to understand Florida's homeowner's insurance policies, flood insurance policies, and the like.
It is possible to not know whether your plan covers flood or windstorm insurance, or what your hurricane-deductible is, so please be sure to reach out to us directly with all your claim related questions: (941) 999-3131