Floods are devastating events that can cause lasting pain and suffering. Residents are often forced to flee their homes, only to return to damaged properties, lost memories, and piles of expensive bills for property damage.
When things are at their worst, the last thing victims of flood damage should have to worry about is the unreasonably complicated flood claims process. By hiring an experienced flood damage insurance attorney, you can be sure that your claim is done right and without added stress to you and your loved ones.
At Insurance Claim HQ, we know firsthand how floods and other natural disasters affect our community, and we are dedicated to protecting those who suffer. Our team of experienced attorneys is ready to help you get the answers you need about your flood insurance claims, defend your rights, and get you the compensation you deserve.
In this article, we will cover what makes flood insurance claims deceivingly complicated and how an experienced lawyer can help greatly improve your chances of getting a fair settlement.
Why Flood Insurance Claims are More Complicated Than You Think
Flood insurance can be a lot more complex than you might think. There are many traps and pitfalls that an inexperienced claimant can fall victim to, which can lead to financial hardship and distress.
To begin with, that vast majority of standard homeowners insurance policies do not include flood coverage. In most cases, homeowners who live in a participating community purchase flood insurance separately through the National Flood Insurance Plan (NFIP), which is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Many private insurers also offer their own separate flood insurance plans as well.
Unfortunately, some insurance companies will fail to mention the lack of flood coverage to policyholders until it’s too late, letting property owners believe that water damage insurance includes flood insurance as well.
Depending on the severity of the flood, victims may not even be able to return home and assess the damage for days or weeks after the incident—potentially leading to rushed work and filing errors. This makes hiring an experienced lawyer all the more valuable.
How a Flood Insurance Lawyer Can Help Your Claim
Flood damage can be extensive, leading to sewer backups, floor-to-roof damage, and loss of precious memories. With so much at stake, you shouldn’t leave your flood insurance claim to chance.
By hiring a flood insurance attorney to help you file and defend your claim, you gain access to many benefits that can remove the stress and burden from you and your loved ones.
Help You Understand Your Flood Insurance Policy
When purchasing a homeowners insurance policy, your insurance agent may fail to mention that flood coverage is not included in your insurance coverage. After a flood strikes, an attorney can work with you to look carefully at your policy to better understand your rights and coverage.
They can help translate the legalese of your policy to help you understand what is covered and what is not by explaining the difference in coverage between water damage and flood damage coverage.
Navigate the National Flood Insurance Program
The National Flood Insurance Program is a cooperation between FEMA and private insurers to provide flood insurance for at-risk communities. This program is designed to protect those at higher risk of flood damage to get back to normal after a natural disaster.
However, this system can be complicated and involve navigating through government red tape. An experienced lawyer will know the deadlines and requirements for filing a claim through the NFIP and can help you file successfully and on time without any added stress.
Organize and Analyze Evidence
To increase your claim’s chances of success, you will need to collect as much evidence as possible. Your lawyer will help you to understand what evidence is most valuable, as well as understand what the evidence means for your case.
Some examples of evidence that can strengthen your claim include:
- Photos and videos of your property damage
- Receipts, invoices, and bills for repairs and replacement
- Any communication with your insurance company
- Photos of any important documents related to your claim as backup
- A dated copy of your insurance policy
Once you have collected and delivered all your evidence to your attorney, they can use this to accurately estimate your claim’s value. The more evidence you have to support your claim, the greater your chances of securing fair compensation.
On the flipside, if you don’t have good documentation, the insurance provider will likely argue that you’re overestimating your damages and deny your claim, even if the estimate is accurate and you’re being 100% truthful.
Meet Deadlines and File Complicated Paperwork
Flood insurance claims often have very short deadlines for filing. If you wait too long, the insurance provider will likely deny your claim on the grounds that the delay prevented from being able to make a full investigation.
While it’s important to notify your insurance promptly after damage occurs, and work in a timely and inefficient manner, the added stress and time pressure can sometimes lead claimants to make small but costly mistakes.
Flood claims can also have complicated paperwork that is difficult to understand for those with little experience. An attorney can help to translate these documents, file them correctly, and help you understand their purpose.
Protect You From the Insurance Company
Here’s the unfortunate truth: Insurance companies are often all to eager to take advantage of unaware, inexperienced, and desperate claimants struggling with complicated and expensive insurance claims.
Remember, the insurance company is more interested in padding their bottom line than helping you recover. They are counting on you accepting an unfair initial settlement offer, which will remove the chance for you to get any further compensation.
Don’t let your insurance company take advantage of you and your loved ones. hire an attorney who can fight for you and your best interests.
RELATED POST: Is Flood Damage Covered by Insurance?
Insurance Claim HQ: Getting Flood Damage Victims Justice in Louisiana
We have seen the impact that floods and natural disasters have on the Gulf community and the people of Louisiana. That is why our team of experienced flood insurance claim attorneys have dedicated themselves to protecting victims from unfair insurance company practices.
At Insurance Claim HQ, our law firm is committed to fighting for your rights when you need it most, building a safe and trusting attorney client relationship, and working to get you the fair compensation you deserve.
FEMA (2021, November 3). Flood Insurance. FEMA. https://www.fema.gov/flood-insurance
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.