Your Insurance Company Uses Professionals to Protect Their Interests. You Should Too!

Flood Damage

public adjuster flood damage floridaThere is probably no type of insurance claim as heavily weighted with frustration as a flood damage claim. That’s because flood damage claims are handled much differently than any other insurance claim a homeowner might make.

The Role of the National Flood Insurance Program

Here’s the bottom line: Standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding. Instead, homeowners living in regions of the country that regularly experience hurricanes, tropical storms and other high-risk rain events need to purchase a separate flood policy from a private insurer.

That wasn’t always the case. But in 1968, a program was enacted by the federal government that required flood insurance to be operated through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Today, the NFIP is managed by FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

As a result, flood and related water damage claims have a way of being incredibly confusing and complicated. The NFIP’s internal definition of a flood, for instance, is nearly indecipherable to the layperson. And because there are so many exclusions associated with the NFIP’s unusual brand of insurance, homeowners can easily find their claims grossly underpaid … or even altogether denied.

The Flood Damage Claim Confusion

There are a few different factors that lead to the confusion and misunderstandings that are so often associated with flood loss claims. Some of that confusion can begin with your insurance company’s flood adjuster. That’s the person who will write up and submit your claim, but it’s worth bearing in mind that as far as the NFIP is concerned, his claim really isn’t much more than a suggestion. You might say that having a public adjuster on hand — someone who is specifically focused on properly settling your claim — is the best sort of flood insurance a homeowner can have.

Florida Tropical hurricane Flood Insurance Claim

There are also various filing provisions to keep track of, and that’s not always an easy task to manage when portions of your home have been literally ruined, and or when your home may be completely uninhabitable.

The NFIP requires proof-of-loss insurance forms to be submitted within 60 days of a flood damage event, for instance. And because so many different claims tend to be filed by so many separate homeowners after a flood or a hurricane, it’s very easy for insurance company adjusters to become overwhelmed and fall behind. A public adjuster, however, will always have your personal wellbeing as his or her top priority. 

The Official Definition of a Flood

Even more confusing still is the NFIP's interpretation of what actually constitutes a "flood." Take a look at the NFIP's official flood definition, and see if it doesn't make your head spin:

  • A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of 2 or more acres of normally dry land area or of 2 or more properties (at least 1 of which is the policyholder's property) from:
    • Overflow of inland or tidal waters; or
    • Unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source; or
    • Mudflow; or
  • Collapse or subsidence of land along the shore of a lake or similar body of water as a result of erosion or undermining caused by waves or currents of water exceeding anticipated cyclical levels that result in a flood as defined above.

Wow. That's more than a little convoluted, no? When it comes to parsing that sort of legal language, it definitely pays to have an adjuster who's actually on your side.        

The Difference Between Flood and Water Loss

Here's a question that trips up homeowners all the time: As far as your insurance policies are concerned, how is water damage any different than flood damage?

It may seem counterintuitive, but the truth is that the difference is fairly significant. Probably the simplest way to understand the difference is that flood insurance is specifically designed to protect homeowners in the event of a natural disaster. Water loss coverage, meanwhile, is meant to protect damage to your home's structure and your possessions in the event of a non-natural disaster. Damage caused by toilet overflows, for instance, or burst pipes or appliance malfunctions would be handled through water loss claims.   

And yet while water loss claims are generally filed through a homeowner's policy, there certainly are water damage scenarios that your standard policy might not cover. In other words, there's simply no debating the fact that this is complicated territory. And that really gets right to the core of why public adjusters are so crucially important: We take pains to insure that the proper legal language is used whenever a claim is filed, no matter which organization or firm holds your policy.

And because our compensation tends to be based on the final payment our clients receive, you never have to wonder if we're truly working within your best interest. Your goals and ours? They're the same.     

A Public Adjuster Can Help

No matter what sort of flood event or water damage you may be dealing with, it's important to discover the full extent of any loss that may have occurred. Not all types of damage may be readily apparent to you. An experienced public adjuster is trained to estimate the full reach of any damage, and to value your claim accurately.

If you've experienced water or flood damage to your home or business in PA, NJ or FL, contact Interstate Public Adjusters immediately.

Remember, your insurance provider hires professional adjusters to protect their interests. You should do the same. 

Interstate Public Adjusters, LLC