When news of an impending storm arrives, many homeowners take steps to prepare for the worst.
Milk, eggs, and bread fly off grocery store shelves. Basements are stocked with batteries and water bottles, and bathtubs are filled with potable water to last for as long as necessary.
But what about making sure you have the proper insurance? Most people often think of the immediate issues like food and water, but they forget to think about what will happen if their home is damaged.
Once the storm has passed, the long term damages it may have caused are far from over. Even if you have a detailed homeowners insurance policy, you may be totally unaware that it does not cover many common damages caused by storms.
Here are two very important facts to keep in mind when looking into a homeowners insurance policy. Don’t be left in the dark; make sure you’re fully covered before it’s too late.
Homeowners Insurance Doesn’t Always Cover Your Damages
Many homeowners are unaware that their insurance policies do not contain language covering flood damage (meaning any above-ground water that enters your home).
Your policy may cover you from water damage that enters from below ground, such as a burst pipe, but should your home or property be affected by flood waters, odds are you will not be covered.
To get the proper coverage, you may need to invest in separate flood insurance. Be careful, though, as even these policies have obscure – and absurd – exclusions which may leave you thinking this added investment was a huge waste.
Pay Attention To Flood Insurance Fine Print
Unfortunately, the law is very unclear as to what actually constitutes “flood damage.” Because this term has not been fully and legally defined, flood insurance companies take full advantage of it.
If you’re thinking of investing in flood insurance, it’s important to make sure that you’re fully covered for all damages, and that the proper language is in place to protect you and your home. If you’d like to have your policy reviewed by an attorney, contact us today. We can give you a free consultation and help you take the right steps toward complete protection.
Take a look at one of the many instances where we’ve helped a client begin their life again after their insurance company threatened to ruin everything.
Fighting For Your Rights; Fighting For Your Home
Many insurance providers will argue that the only damage covered by flood insurance is things that the water actually touches. Wheeler, DiUlio, & Barnabei recently settled a case that addressed this very issue.
A client’s home was so severely damaged by a flood, that the entire first floor had to be demolished. Naturally, this means that the second floor has nothing to support it. Essentially, because of the flood, the entire home had to be torn down and rebuilt.
However, the insurance company argued that since the first floor was the only part of the house damaged by flood waters, the client should only receive financial reimbursement for the demolition and rebuilding of that floor.
The flood insurance company claimed that the homeowner would not receive aid to rebuild their second floor, since it was not “directly damaged” by the flood. Essentially, they were content to leave their client with only half of a home.
Obviously, this is a crazy proposition, and one that we could not let the insurance company get away with. We fought for the homeowner, and ultimately were able to settle the case for a substantial sum, large enough for the client to rebuild their entire house from the ground up.
If your home has been damaged by a recent storm, please give us a call. We know and understand your rights as a homeowner, and will do everything in our power to fight for you and your home.