Flood Insurance Claims

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Fort Myers Flood Insurance Claims Attorney

Floods in Florida may be caused by a variety of factors, including the obvious: thunderstorms, tropical storms, hurricanes, high tides, and heavy rainfall. These are things that we as Florida residents are all but accustomed to. However, these aren’t the only factors that contribute to floods. Congested or clogged sewage and drainage systems, urbanization, and levy collapses are also all prevalent causes of flooding. Flooding may accumulate from small “leaks” over a period of time or seemingly happen within an instant.

Regardless of the cause or the time it took to build up (or lack thereof), a flood can and often does cause serious damage. This is why many homeowners and business owners take extra precautions to protect themselves and their property through flood insurance policies.

Unfortunately, when it comes time to file a claim, policyholders are often met with unnecessary obstacles and unreasonable requests from their providers. At McIntyre & Bermudez, PLLC, our goal is to make sure that insurance companies don’t try to cut corners on your flood damage claim. For more information or to speak with our experienced Fort Myers insurance claims attorney directly, give us a call at 239.935.8426 today.

Flood Damage Claims

During serious flooding, property in the direct path of the water flow can be left completely destroyed or unrecognizable. This makes the event not only personally devastating but also quite costly to recover from. As such, it will take a lot of time and effort to restore your home and belongings to their prior state. Think about everything that will need to be repaired or even completely replaced: vehicles, windows, electronics, roofs, and sometimes even entire building structures. Not to mention sentimental personal belongings such as books, photos, or artwork. 

Our Florida attorneys understand how difficult it is to put a numeric value on your home, property, or cherished belongings after they have been destroyed by water. Many of these things are likely invaluable to you. We also recognize that simply filing an insurance claim and (hopefully) obtaining a settlement won’t be enough to bring those things back. However, it should at least get you back up on your feet financially and allow you to work towards rebuilding your life and your future.

Unfortunately, as anyone who deals with insurance companies knows, you can’t always rely on them to pay you what you are entitled to. It is all too common for insurers to pay out as little as possible or to deny claims altogether. Dealing with these insurance adjusters can be extremely stressful, especially if your flood damage claim is refused. That’s where we come in. At McIntyre & Bermudez, PLLC, our insurance claims attorneys have experience assisting clients at all phases of the claims process, from those who haven’t filed a claim yet to those who are suffering severe delays or unjust treatment from their insurance providers.

What Damage Does Flooding Cause?

Individuals, families, and communities as a whole all stand to lose a lot when a flood runs through. Economic loss, health and safety risks, property damage, and emotional hardships are just some of the devastating effects that a flood may leave behind. Some studies have found that water damage from floods accounts for approximately 90% of all damage caused by natural disasters. Homes, companies, automobiles, personal effects, and equipment… Nothing is invincible when it comes to rising floodwaters. Just a few inches of water may do significant damage to your house, business, and other assets, as well as property like land and outdoor structures. In addition to property damage, floods present a variety of risks that could lead to health and safety hazards. We’ll provide these risks below.

Flood Damage Risks

  • Structural damage
  • Sharp glass, metal, and other dangerous material debris
  • Sanitary issues involving standing water
  • Electrical damage
  • Issues with drainage and sewage systems
  • Contamination of drinking water
  • Damage to roads and bridges
  • Damaged crops and landscaping
Not only can these problems affect your physical health and safety, but the aftermath of a flood can also take a serious emotional toll on victims. Ever wonder why organizations like Red Cross and FEMA keep mental health specialists on hand during natural disasters like flooding? Flood victims often experience emotions such as fear, anger, frustration, sadness, and grief as a result of their circumstances. It is also not uncommon for flood victims to suffer from anxiety, depression, and PTSD, as well. All of this and we still haven’t even mentioned what is perhaps the most devastating aspect of floods: the loss of life. Flash floods are the most fatal weather-related event in the United States. People have lost their families, loved ones, pets, and livestock all as a result of floods. This is something that no amount of money can replace.

What Does My Florida Flood Insurance Policy Cover?

Water damage caused by flooding is not covered by all insurance companies or plans, which can place a huge financial strain on victims and property owners, especially when you take into account the fact that the total cost of flooding in the United States in a single year can reach up to nearly ten billion dollars. This means it can take many years and massive sums of money to rebuild devastated areas and get life back to normal. So how do you know what your flood insurance policy covers, or if it covers anything at all? And what do you do if your insurance claim is denied entirely? First, to determine whether or not your insurance policy covers flood damage, you’ll need to personally verify your current level of coverage with your insurance company. If you find you are covered in the event of a flood, the specific damages that will be covered should be determined by the language in your policy. However, even if your plan does carry flood coverage, that doesn’t always mean they will honor those coverages. If you’re having trouble getting compensation from your insurance carrier for covered damages, our Florida property insurance claim attorneys can assist you by evaluating your claim and establishing whether you’re eligible to take legal action.

What Happens if my Insurance Company Rejects my Flood Claim?

It is not uncommon for insurance companies to deny coverage claims or underpay policyholders for damage resulting from a flood or other natural disaster, as we’ve seen recently with Hurricane Ian insurance claim denials. This often puts individuals who have submitted genuine property and storm damage insurance claims in Florida through unnecessary financial hardship.

Insurance companies may reject claims for coverage of flood and water damage for a variety of reasons. Some of these might include the following:

  • Damages aren’t covered by your insurance policy.
  • Claim was submitted after the policy’s deadline.
  • Premium payments are late or absent.
  • Coverage limits reached or surpassed.
  • Lack of proof or record of losses incurred.

If your claim was denied, the insurance company is required to explain why. Your adjuster should provide you a written letter explaining the reason the claim was denied and the part of the policy that supports their decision. But remember, insurance claim judgments aren’t always made in good faith. If you believe your insurance carrier has wrongly denied or underpaid your claim, ask for a second look from one of our attorneys to see if there was an error on your insurer’s part.

When to Contact an Attorney for Your Flood Insurance Claim

In the wake of a flood, you probably don’t have a lot of spare time or energy to worry about dealing with your insurance company and ensuring they cover all of the losses you’ve incurred. That’s why having an attorney on your side, from the initial filing of the claim to its resolution,  can be so beneficial to you. While you’re quite literally picking up the pieces after a disaster, we are prepared to help you navigate the property insurance claims process and pursue your rights to the fullest extent possible, including filing a lawsuit if necessary. Our lawyers will review your insurance policy to determine everything that your provider owes you after a natural disaster. We are also prepared to go head to head with your insurance company until you receive what you are legally entitled to. If a dispute arises, our insurance claim attorneys have access to tools that enable us to conduct separate evaluations that may be utilized in negotiations and settlements with the insurance company. We work with specialists to establish the origin of the flood, assess the value of items lost, uncover the degree of property damage that the insurer may ignore, and estimate the true value of your claim.

Don’t Wait - Reach Out to the Flood Insurance Claims Attorneys at McIntyre & Bermudez, PLLC Today!

When a natural catastrophe occurs, McIntyre & Bermudez, PLLC is here to help. If your property has been devalued as a result of flood damage, hurricane damage, fire damage, or any other natural disaster, our attorneys will seek compensation for you. This means we are prepared to undertake the effort required in claims negotiations so you don’t have to worry about anything else during these trying times. After all, getting the financial assistance you need should not be more difficult than dealing with the flood itself. With our firm’s assistance, you can concentrate on receiving what you deserve. Give us a call at 239.935.8426 to see what our Fort Myers insurance attorneys at McIntyre & Bermudez, PLLC can do to help you.