So Isaac breezed through town and maybe some of us feel a little like that cleverly bunkered third little piggy that never had to worry about a huffing, puffing wolf sending him racing to Citizen’s claims office. While Isaac’s wind may not have caused much damage,
what many may not realize is that the flooding did. And now many of us are now submerged in the confusing claims process. What people with flood claims need to know:
1) First, know which insurance covers floods. Flood insurance covers damage caused by rising water and generally does not cover damage from wind-driven water or water that enters through your roof or windows. Coverage for those perils is a different and separate policy.
2) Know what insurance coverage you have. Make sure you elected to purchase flood coverage. It sounds like a silly question to ask, but even savvy consumers can get lost in the complexities of the insurance maze.
3) If you are making a claim for flood damage know that in most cases you only have 60 days to submit a sworn proof of loss to the insurer. That’s it. So get moving! Time limits are strict.
Always know that if you have questions, or are unsure how to submit your claim, you should consult with a qualified attorney or public adjuster. And remember, even if the big-bad-wolf can’t blow a dent in your post- Andrew fortress-of-a-house, it just takes a quarter-inch of water to wreak havoc on your new parquet floors. Make sure you’re covered.
Russel Lazega is an attorney and author of several of Florida’s most widely distributed legal textbooks on Florida Insurance Law: West’s Florida Practice Series Volume 7 and West’s Florida Insurance Law & Practice.