The horrifying scenes of massive flooding in Houston and East Texas from Hurricane Harvey should be a sobering reminder to every homeowner in South Florida. Streets quickly transformed into rivers, leaving thousands of people homeless. Here is the reality for anyone who lives in Miami-Dade or Broward Counties. If you live anywhere from the beach to the Everglades, you are in a flood zone. Yet, countless people in Miami and Fort Lauderdale do not have flood insurance. Others mistakenly believe their homeowner’s insurance will cover all water damage. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Lessons From Hurricanes Past
It has been 25 years since Hurricane Andrew devastated Southern Miami-Dade County. It has also been 12 years since any hurricane (Hurricane Wilma) has made landfall in South Florida. While thousands of people have moved to South Florida and have never experienced a major storm, it is no excuse to ignore enrolling for flood insurance. Unfortunately, far too many homeowners have discovered their homeowner’s insurance does not cover any property lost or damaged from a flood. Without flood insurance, there is no hope for any of these homeowners to rebuild their property. According to CNNMoney, only 15 percent of homes in Harris County (Greater Houston) were covered by flood insurance.
Myths About Flood Insurance
While the statistics in Houston are discouraging, it appears Floridians are more diligent about protecting their property. Of the nation’s 5.6 million flood insurance policies, 2.1 million are in the Sunshine State. One of the most common myths from homeowners without flood insurance is they don’t live near a body of water. However, the truth is 25 percent of flood insurance claims for homes that are in low risk areas. Another common excuse if flood insurance is too expensive. But you may be surprised to learn premiums are relatively cheap compared to other types of insurance policies. If you live in a low risk area, the average premium for a house worth $250,000 can be as little as $407 a year. The average cost is $660 annually. Here are some other common myths about flood insurance.
- You must live in a high risk flood plain: Most mortgage companies in South Florida require homeowners to enroll for flood insurance, regardless of whether you live in a high or low risk area. One in four flood insurance claims is from homeowners who do not live in a flood plain.
- Flood insurance covers everything: Unfortunately, that is not always the case. The maximum federal flood insurance coverage is $250,000. If you own a house worth $300,000 that is a total loss, the most you can recover is $250,000, which covers the entire structure.
- All water damage is the same: When dealing with insurance companies, this is flat out wrong. Although water damage caused by roof leaks, windstorm damage or pipe leaks is covered by homeowner’s insurance, it will not cover a flood caused by rain or an overflowing body of water that penetrates your home.
Has Your Flood Insurance Claim Been Underpaid or Denied? Miami Insurance Claims Lawyer Jonathan Korin Can Help
Having flood insurance in South Florida is a smart decision. However, insurance companies are not always honest in their damage assessments. If your flood insurance claim has been underpaid or denied, it is vital to have an experienced and knowledgeable Miami insurance lawyer with a track record of protecting the rights of each homeowner. Over the years, attorney Jonathan Korin has successfully helped many property owners recover the maximum settlement to account for their damages and lost items. To learn more, contact the Miami law offices at Korin Law, P.A. and schedule a consultation to discuss your case.