Flood Insurance Premiums on the Rise in Florida
Insurance is not cheap, which is especially true in areas that get hit hard by hurricanes—like Florida. Many homeowners have multiple policies on their properties to ensure they are covered during a catastrophic event, such as a hurricane. Most Florida residents know that damage caused by storm surges and other types of flooding are not covered by homeowners insurance or hurricane deductibles—flood insurance is usually required. Flood insurance premiums are increasing in Florida, but the Florida insurance claim attorneys at Ged Lawyers, LLP are available to help you understand your rights as a policyholder.
The increase in premiums began in the spring of 2018
As of April 1, 2018, flood insurance premiums increased by an average of 8 percent. The average policy was $866 before the premium hike; now, it is $935. Fortunately, most policies will not increase by more than 5 percent.
Many homeowners assumed that the increases were due to the intense hurricane season 2017 saw. However, it is actually due to laws that were passed to help the National Flood Insurance Program become self-sufficient.
Some subsidized policies that are carried on buildings in high-risk areas may see increases of 25 percent, however. For homes that are in high-risk coastal areas, the increase is 11 percent.
Another increase may come next year.
The National Flood Insurance Program
The National Flood Insurance Program, or NFIP for short, covers 5 million people across the United States. On occasion, the NFIP must be reauthorized. The program is billions of dollars in debt.
The NFIP provides coverage of up to $250,000 for residential structures and $100,000 of their contents. For commercial buildings, policyholders may elect to have up to $500,000 in coverage for both the structure and the contents inside.
What types of damage does flood insurance cover?
If you are required to purchase flood insurance through the NFIP, the following may be covered:
- The structure of the property
- The foundation of the property
- Electrical systems
- Plumbing systems
- HVAC systems
- Kitchen appliances
- Permanent wallboard, bookcases, paneling, and cabinets
- Detached garages
- Water heaters
- Removal of debris
If the contents of the property are included in the policy, the following items may be covered:
- Window air conditioning units
- Washers and dryers
- Food that is spoiled
- Portable dishwashers and microwaves
- Up to $2,500 for valuable items, such as furs or art
The claims process
If your home or commercial property has been damaged by flooding, you should notify your insurance company as soon as you are able. If you wait to put your insurance company on notice, they may try to deny your claim because you waited too long to let them know about the damage.
Next, an adjuster is assigned to your claim and comes to the property to determine the amount of loss you have sustained. An estimate of the damage is presented to you. You do not have to sign this document if you do not agree with it! You should speak with one of our skilled insurance claim attorneys immediately to verify that the amount the insurance company has calculated is fair. Never sign anything accepting no or low payment without the guidance of a knowledgeable disaster recovery and insurance claim attorney. We have recovered tens of millions of dollars for homeowners and property owners just like you who have been denied or lowballed by their insurance companies. We fight so you don’t have to.
Let our experienced Florida insurance claim attorneys help you with a flood insurance claim
At Ged Lawyers, our firm is experienced in insurance denials and hurricane damage recovery. We do not take no for an answer from insurance companies and we are not afraid to take insurance companies to court to get you the money you deserve. Our attorneys are multi-lingual and have several offices throughout Florida to serve your needs, including Panama City Florida. To schedule your free consultation, call 844-443-3529 or visit us online.