Flooding within a community can have catastrophic and overwhelming consequences. For example, the destructive potential of flood waters is unimaginable. It can destroy homes and businesses and wreak havoc throughout communities at risk. Detecting the extent of flooding damage on a property can be challenging. The reach of the flood waters can significantly affect the structure of a home and the property within it.
If your home or business property sustains damage due to flooding, the costs of your damages are likely to be significant. As you begin to think about your path forward and filing an insurance claim for your losses, you may be unsure how your claim may develop with the insurance company.
Unfortunately, insurers covering flood damage will try to deny your claim or reduce the amount of money available for your losses. It would be best if you considered hiring a flood damage lawyer to guide you through the process, prepare your claim and negotiate the best possible settlement of your damages with the insurance company.
Table of Contents
- Get Help with a Flood Damage Claim
- Causes of Flood Damage
- The Impacts and Costs to a Property Owner or Renter with Flood Damage
- Common Denial Reasons by Insurers in a Flood Claim for Damage
- Going Up Against the Insurance Companies in a Flood Damage Insurance Claim
- Contact a Flood Damage Lawyer Today
For Help with a Flood Damage Claim, Contact Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
Unlike other damages to properties that can cost a few hundred or thousand dollars, the amount of money involved in a flood damage claim is often significant. Tabulating the losses due to the structural damage of your property, interior damage, as well as the contents of the property can be a tedious challenge.
Facing the aftermath of flooding destruction can be an emotional and taxing process for anyone, and the insurance companies responsible for processing your claim will make it no easier. The reality is that the amount of money and potential insurance claim compensation in a flood damage event is likely too high to risk going forward without experience and knowledge on your side.
At Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we can help you fight against the insurers after flood damage to your home, business, or other property.
We can help you from the outset of your claim or help you fight back after an unexpected flood damage claim denial. We understand the extensive losses you are facing and want to help you recover as much of your losses as possible.
Moving forward from a catastrophic flood event is difficult, especially when it involves the loss of your property, such as a home, business, or both. Hire a flood damage attorney for the legal advice and guidance necessary to get the best possible resolution for your claim.
Causes of Flood Damage
Flood damage is a challenging term to understand. Many assume that flood damage refers to any damage caused by water to your home or other property. That, unfortunately, is not the case, and the distinction of what is flood damage or water damage can affect the type of insurance policy that applies and the limitations to the coverage that may be available.
It can surprise many people that, in most cases, coverage such as homeowner’s and renter’s policies do not cover damages that arise from a flood event. For example, flood insurance is often a separate policy that a property owner or renter must acquire to protect them from damages to a building, land, and contents when a flood happens. Even when you have the appropriate coverage, insurance companies will look carefully at the damage’s cause to determine whether it is a qualifying event and whether they will cover your losses.
Property Damage Flood Damage Lawyer Near Me 833-552-7274
What Is Flood Damage?
Flooding can have a widespread impact on a community or affect a small portion of property owners in lower-lying areas. The number of people in an affected area and the area of land involved can all play a part in when a flood qualifies as a flood.
According to FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program, an event qualifies as a flood when it involves water covering typically dry areas over a minimum of two acres of land or two neighboring properties. In rare instances, a flood may affect a small area of land or only one individual property, which can be grounds for denial under this definition.
However, most commonly, when a flood occurs, several property owners will sustain damage.
The most common causes of flooding resulting in a flood damage claim are:
- Rain – Whether a tropical system or just an afternoon thunderstorm, any significant rain event can cause an accumulation of water either rapidly or over an extended time.
- River or lake overflow – If you live near a body of water such as a river or lake that rises over time due to weather events such as rain or snow, you may be at risk of flooding if the body of water overflows and seeps into neighboring properties and communities.
- Storm surge – High winds and rising waters from hurricanes and other storms or even tidal fluctuations can result in a storm surge of tidal waters onto homes and businesses on or near the coast.
- Infrastructure failure – This does not refer to pipes or other plumbing issues but rather the failure of dams or levees that protect communities from the influx of rising waters. When this occurs, properties in surrounding areas are at risk of severe and, in many cases, rapid flooding.
- Melt off of snow or ice – Living near mountains carries the risk of mudslides when wet weather occurs or rising rivers and water accumulation when the snow and ice on mountains begin to melt as temperatures heat up in spring and summer.
The Impacts and Costs to a Property Owner or Renter with Flood Damage
Damage from flood waters can be some of the most traumatic and catastrophic for people as they try to recover the pieces of their homes, businesses, and communities. Beyond the emotional and mental toll of flooding, the economic burdens and costs to those suffering damage are devastating.
Forceful floods can tear buildings off their foundation and destroy everything in a home with no hope of recovering any of its contents.
Even just a few inches of water creeping into a dwelling or structure can cause permanent damage to many of the contents inside, and severe health risks can arise due to the effects of flood water on the home’s structure, walls, and floors.
For a free legal consultation with a flood damage lawyer serving Property Damage, call 833-552-7274
You cannot ignore or overlook flood damage for long. Not all home occupants have somewhere else to go after sustaining flood damage, and the effects of flood waters on a dwelling can cause health problems such as when mold develops or the humidity of water-logged contents.
Additionally, the flood water itself can pose a danger of bacteria and disease; sewage can mix into flood waters when widespread flooding occurs within a community.
Any home that sustains significant flood damage is likely to become uninhabitable at the very least temporarily following a flood. You must rebuild destroyed homes, while those properties where a significant amount of water breaches the home’s interior must undergo significant clean-up and repairs to be safe for the occupants.
When you are suddenly displaced from your home or unable to continue offering your services as a business, this is a serious blow to your financial situation.
Furthermore, you must begin addressing the flood damage as soon as possible to mitigate the damage and prevent further property loss. The losses to your property can be high as you may not only sustain damage to the building or property itself but also lose much of the property inside due to water damage.
Common Denial Reasons by Insurers in a Flood Claim for Damage
It should not shock you if you receive a denial notice for a flood damage insurance claim. Insurance companies work for themselves, and why you may feel they have an obligation to you as an insured to payout your claim quickly and with as little hassle as possible, they do not see it that way. Insurers will inspect and investigate your claim for damages looking for any excuse not to be held liable for your losses.
Flood damage claims can bring many challenges for an insured, and knowing how to properly file a claim and provide the support to prove your damages can be difficult for someone with no experience in the insurance industry.
The most common justifications used by insurance companies to deny a flood damage claim are:
- The damaging event does not qualify as a flood – Insurance companies will investigate the source of the flooding and the events leading up to the flood damage to your home or business. If an insurer suspects that the event does not fall within the definition of a flood, they will deny your claim for losses.
- Insufficient proof of damages – It is not enough to claim your losses and damages following a flood. You must show thorough and sufficient proof of how the losses occur and what the losses entail. This involves a detailed accounting of your damages, including the damage to the structure and contents covered under your policy.
- Late claim – Your flood insurance policy is a contract between you and your insurance company. You must abide by the terms of this agreement when notifying an insurer of a flood-related loss and filing a claim. In some circumstances, a disaster declaration may give you additional time, but this might not always be the case. You must act quickly after a flood to ensure you take the proper steps to protect your right to seek losses under the coverage.
- Pre-existing damage – A common tactic insurance companies use to deny a claim in its entirety or parts of a claim is to determine that the damage you seek coverage for existed before the flood. In some cases, this might be difficult for an insurer to prove, and if there is a delay in inspecting your property after a flood, it could be an erroneous assessment.
- Failure to mitigate – Mitigation is a property owner’s responsibility and duty to prevent further property loss during a flooding event. The reality is that in catastrophic level flooding, this is likely impossible. However, suppose there is an opportunity for you to salvage some contents of your home or further interior damage after a flood. In that case, you must take action to preserve what you can and avoid additional losses.
Going Up Against the Insurance Companies in a Flood Damage Insurance Claim
If you have already received a claim denial for flood damage losses, you may have little alternative but to contact a flood damage attorney in your area. While a claim denial is not absolute, it indicates that something is amiss with your claim. You will need additional experience and knowledge to help you through the appeals process to fight the insurance company and file suit against the insurer if necessary.
You do not need to go through this process alone, and realistically, it can be difficult to know what went wrong with your claim and how to fix it. The best approach is to contact a flood damage attorney who will fight on your behalf to get you the money you need for your flood damage losses.
What Can You Do Following Damage From a Flood to Your Property?
Mitigating your losses and recording your losses is your priority in the immediate aftermath of a flood disaster in your area. Take the time to photograph your damages and try to preserve what contents of your home you can to prevent further damage and loss.
When Facing the Need for a Flood Damage Insurance Claim, Contact a Flood Damage Lawyer Today
Contact Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, at 833-552-7274 for your free consultation about your pending or denied flood damage insurance claim. We want to help you advocate for your losses and fight the insurers who may be trying to get out of the coverage you contracted them for through your insurance policy.
We understand the difficulties you face after a flood. Our team of flood damage attorneys and legal professionals want to help you through this challenging time to get the money you need to recover and rebuild.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA – Clearwater Office
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756
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