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Florida Flood Claims and Long-Term Damage Exclusions

Updated: Jul 3


Florida Flood Claims and Long-Term Damage Exclusions
Florida Flood Claims and Long-Term Damage Exclusions

Florida Flood Claims and Long-Term Damage Exclusions? I thought I was fully covered no matter how much time passed! - Julie from Hallandale Beach, FL


Florida, with its unique geography and climate, faces a significant risk of flooding, particularly during hurricane season. For homeowners, understanding the intricacies of flood claims and the common exclusions in insurance policies is crucial. This blog post will delve into the types of water damage typically covered and excluded by insurance policies in Florida, how flood insurance plays a crucial role, and the complexities of long-term damage exclusions.


Understanding Flood Claims in Florida

Flood damage in Florida is a major concern for homeowners due to the state's frequent and intense weather events, such as hurricanes and heavy rains. Standard homeowners' insurance policies in Florida do not cover flood damage. Instead, residents must rely on flood insurance policies provided by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or private insurers.


Flood Insurance Coverage: Flood insurance policies cover direct physical loss caused by "flood," which is defined as an excess of water on land that is normally dry, affecting two or more acres of land or two or more properties. Covered damages typically include:

  • Structural damage

  • Electrical and plumbing systems

  • Furnaces and water heaters

  • Built-in appliances

  • Permanently installed carpeting over unfinished flooring


Common Exclusions:

  • Sewer Backups: Unless directly caused by a flood, damage from sewer backups is not typically covered by flood insurance.

  • Earth Movement: Damage caused by earth movement, even if the movement is caused by floodwater, is generally excluded.

  • Mold, Mildew, or Moisture Damage: These are only covered when they are a direct result of a flood event. If they result from the homeowner's failure to mitigate and properly clean up after a flood, they might not be covered.

  • Internal Flooding: Water damage from a burst pipe or an overflowing bathtub, which originates inside the home, is not covered under flood insurance policies.


Long-Term Damage Exclusions

Insurance policies are designed to protect against sudden and accidental damage, not damage resulting from wear and tear or lack of maintenance. Here are key long-term damage exclusions typically found in both standard homeowners and flood insurance policies:

  • Constant or Repeated Seepage: Long-term damage caused by water seeping into a home over weeks, months, or years is typically excluded. This can include water seepage through the foundation.

  • Neglect: Damage that results from a homeowner's failure to maintain the property adequately is usually not covered.

  • Humidity, Condensation, and Drainage Problems: These issues are often categorized under maintenance issues, which are the homeowner's responsibility.


Claims and Mitigation Requirements: Homeowners are required to take immediate action to mitigate further damage after a flood. This includes removing water, drying out the home, and making necessary repairs to prevent the onset of mold. Failure to do so can result in a denial of the claim. Furthermore, Florida's statute of limitations for filing flood damage claims is generally five years, which is reduced to three years for damage related to hurricanes.


Tips for Managing Flood Claims and Understanding Your Policy

  1. Review Your Policy Carefully: Understanding what your insurance policy covers and what it excludes is essential. Pay special attention to the sections detailing exclusions and requirements for filing a claim.

  2. Document Everything: In the event of a flood, document all damages with photos and videos. This will provide essential evidence for your insurance claim.

  3. Act Quickly to Mitigate Damage: After ensuring safety, take immediate steps to reduce further damage. This might involve using pumps to remove water or dehumidifiers to reduce moisture.

  4. Understand Your Deductibles: Flood insurance policies have separate deductibles for the building structure and contents. Be aware of these amounts as they will affect your out-of-pocket costs during a claim.

  5. Consult with Professionals: If you are unsure about the coverage or exclusions of your policy, consult with an insurance professional or a public adjuster. They can offer valuable advice and guidance through the claims process.


Conclusion

Navigating the complexities of flood insurance and understanding the exclusions related to long-term damage are critical for Florida homeowners. By staying informed about your insurance policy's specifics and proactively managing risk, you can better protect your property against the unpredictable nature of flood damage. Remember, preparedness starts with knowledge, and understanding your insurance coverage is the first step towards protecting your home and family. Hope you enjoyed this Florida Flood Claims and Long-Term Damage Exclusions as much as we did putting it together for you!


Need a Public Adjuster to Handle Your New, Denied, or Underpaid Claim? Call Us!



Don’t wait until it’s too late. Review your current flood insurance policy and consider if additional coverage is needed for your peace of mind and financial security. Contact a local insurance agent today to discuss your options and make sure you are fully protected against future flooding events.


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