What is Flood Insurance?
Most, if not all flood policies in Texas are issued by the National Flood Insurance Program. This is a government program that provides this insurance to businesses and homeowners. It is often sold through the traditional insurance companies such as Allstate, Farmers, and State Farm, but the coverage is actually underwritten by the National Flood Insurance Program.
What’s Covered under the National Flood Insurance Program?
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) offers both building property coverage and personal property coverage. Building property is covered up to $250,000, while personal property is covered up to $100,000. These policies must be purchased separately – so, make sure you know exactly what kind of coverage you have.
Most policyholder’s first question for us (especially for flood insurance) is what’s covered and what’s not covered under flood policies.
What Parts of My Structure are Covered Under Flood Insurance?
Generally, building property flood insurance policies cover the structure itself and permanent equipment and appliances that are attached to the structure, including:
- The building and the foundation
- A detached garage (only up 10% of the total building coverage)
- Appliances and equipment that are attached to the building, like central air conditioners, water heaters, refrigerators, stoves, and dishwaters
- Permanently installed carpeting, paneling, wallboard, bookcases, and cabinets
What Personal Property is Covered Under Flood Insurance?
Personal property flood insurance policies cover items that are not permanently attached to the structure:
- Non-permanent furnishings like area rugs and curtains
- Items like clothes, furniture, and electronic equipment
- Personal and portable air conditioning equipment
- Appliances that are not attached to the structure (like portable microwaves)
- Clothes washers and dryers
- Some valuable artwork and other expensive items, up to a limit of $2500
What is Typically Not Covered Under Flood Insurance?
The items above are general examples of what is covered under either a building property or personal property flood insurance policy. But, some items will not be covered under either type of flood insurance policy. Items not covered are generally outside of the building, or due to consequences other than just flooding. Some major issues that are not covered are:
- Damage caused by the resulting moisture and effects (including mold) that the property owner could have avoided (this is called a failure to mitigate – if you are able to prevent further damage from the water in your home, then you have a duty to do so)
- Property and items that are outside of a building – like patio furniture, pools and hot tubs, decks, and plants.
- Extra living expenses incurred as a result of flood damage, like temporary housing
- If your building or personal property flood insurance policy is for a business, the policy does not cover expenses and lost profits from business interruption – in order to recover for business interruption, you need a specific policy.
- Any vehicles – including your automobile – are not covered under your building or personal property flood insurance policies.
Knowing what exact kind of flood insurance policies you have, and what exactly is covered under them, is critical to ensuring you receive the coverage you are entitled to under your policy. If you have any questions, or would like to speak with a Houston flood insurance attorney, please call the Fitts Law Firm today.
How To Submit Flood Insurance Claim
You have the burden of proof when you file your Hurricane Harvey flood insurance claim. It is imperative that you understand your losses and communicate them to the adjuster because he has limited knowledge, if any, of your actually losses unless you show them the damage.
What If You Need Immediate Funds To Repair Your Property?
You should ask for an advance if you are in need of cash to expedite the mitigation of your damages or returning your property to its pre flood or storm condition.
Problems With Your Harvey Flood Claim? Call Today.
Hopefully your carrier and adjuster will promptly and fairly adjust your claim. But if you feel you are not being treated fairly, please seek help from an experienced legal professional. Business insurance claims is what we do. We offer free advice and you never come out pocket for our services. We only get paid when we are successful. Contact us today to so we can help you with your business interruption claim.