Friday, September 16, 2011
Insurance has the potential to help reduce future losses, as well as provide compensation, following a disaster. But what kind of water damage is insured? Did you even know there were different types of water damage? What's the difference between flood water damage and windblown water damage? Understanding residential and commercial hazard insurance is not a task one can take on alone. After such a disaster, photos and videos should be taken as soon as possible to document the damage, and a personal or commercial attorney should be called in to guide a residential or commercial property owner in recouping losses through an windblown water damage insurance claim. Catastrophe risks present a set of special problems for both insurers and reinsurers. Standard homeowners insurance doesn't cover flooding. Protecting your property from flooding associated with hurricanes and heavy rain is a precautionary task. Contacting the right real estate lawyer is something that can be done before or after a disaster, but the sooner the better.
Windblown water damage - Are you insured?
If rain enters a building as a result of wind damage, any water damage should be covered under a homeowner's insurance policy or a separate windstorm policy. If the water damage is the result of a flood, however, homeowners will need flood insurance, which typically is sold separately through a federal insurance pool.
When water enters from the ground in the form of a storm surge, a swollen river or heavy rain from the likes of Hurricane Irene. If water rises or seeps into your home, it’s a flood. People who have an endorsement on their insurance policy might have coverage if a sump pump stopped working when the power went out and water seeps into the basement. When it comes time to file an insurance claim, this can be a murky area. Following Hurricane Katrina, many disputes arose about whether water intrusion was the result of windblown water damage or flooding. With a flood insurance policy, there is no dispute over the origins of water damage. We can't go back in time and buy ourselves an insurance package that includes flood damage now if we don't already have one. Flood damage is extremely costly, thought. For future references, flood insurance is available from the government funded National Flood Insurance Program. For more information, see FloodSmart.gov and FEMA.gov.
Cutting through the legal terminology is not something that every average homeowner or business owner can do easily. After documenting the damage, gather your questions and concerns and have an objective in mind when contacting a legal firm about windblown water damage v flood damage, about the processess of filing a claim now rather than waiting for an inspection from an insurance officer, and what you can do in the meantime to ensure your claim goes through.