The causes of water damage are as endless as the headaches they create: flooding due to hurricanes or other natural disasters, burst pipes, sewer line backups, and leaks in hoses, water heaters and roofs. The ensuing damage is at best an inconvenience and at its worst, catastrophic. Understanding what types of water damage are covered by your homeowners insurance and how to file a claim are essential when calling Florida your home.
When Determining Damage, Go to the Source
Water damage coverage is most often linked to the source of the water damage. For example, if your hot water heater springs a leak, the damage is most likely covered by your homeowners insurance. However, if your hot water heater springs a leak as a direct result of flooding, flood insurance, if carried, will customarily cover the loss. Usually, however, homeowners insurance excludes flood damage. In Florida, you may qualify for flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program. Additionally, home and business owners in high-risk flood areas may be required to obtain flood insurance.
What About Mold?
In Florida's hot and humid climate, water damage and mold often go hand in hand. Mold not only causes property damage to your home, but can also health and medical concerns for those living in the home. Regardless of the source, insurance coverage may or may not cover mold and coverage varies with individual policies. Most insurers offer basic mold coverage, but you may be able to purchase additional mold coverage for an additional premium.
If you have experienced water damage, there are four important steps to follow:
- Contact your insurance agent or carrier to file a claim
- Divide damaged property from undamaged property
- Document evidence of the water damage
- File the Proof of Loss form within the allocated time period
If you are a home or business owner and your water damage claim was denied by your insurance company, call an experienced Florida attorney today to learn about your rights after a denied claim.