Few things are worse than having an insurance claim denied, especially after a devastating event like a hurricane. But as you may already well know, it can be an all too common occurrence. Sometimes customers fight the denials and win, spending months or even years trying to convince someone that they deserve coverage. But it’s usually far easier to have a better understanding of how your policy works.
You Don’t Have Flood Insurance
Homeowners in designated flood zones are required to buy some type of flood coverage, but more than half of people affected by flooding damage during a hurricane live outside the zoning lines. It’s a good idea to educate yourself about the benefits of flood insurance whether you live in a designated flood zone or not. The National Flood Insurance Program aims to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures. Check out their site to learn more about their program!
Cleaning Up Is Circumstantial
If a tree breaks the windows of your home or crushes your car, this is usually covered by your policy. If it was your car that was damaged, typically your auto insurance policy is the best outlet to cover your claim. But if a tree happens to fall in your yard, you’re usually on the hook to clean it up. You may even need to cover the damage if your neighbor’s tree falls on your house. It’s best to cooperate with your neighbor, let them know that you are reporting the claim to your insurance company and share any pertinent information with them as long as your carrier permits.
Your Policy Has Certain Exclusions
In 45 states in the US (including Florida), insurance policies have a (heavily buried) clause that allows them to deny claims if two catastrophic events occurred simultaneously and one of those events wasn’t covered. In other words, if the wind took out half your roof and flooded your basement, both claims might be denied if you didn’t have flood insurance.
Federal Flood Insurance Is Limited
If you do happen to live in a designated flood zone and were required to purchase federal flood insurance, it doesn’t automatically mean that your claim will be approved. The minimum federal flood insurance will only cover the structure of the home as opposed to any outdoor property. So if your pool was destroyed during the hurricane, you may be out of luck.
You Haven’t Factored in Both Deductibles
When it comes to hurricane claims, homeowners have one deductible for loss and theft as well as an annual deductible for a hurricane. So your claim can conceivably be denied because you need to meet both deductible minimums before your policy kicks in (exact deductibles depend on your policy).
Homeowners do have recourse if their claim is denied, it’s just a lot more work than understanding your coverage up front. Don’t wait until you are forced to file a claim to find out that you don’t have the right homeowners insurance policy. Synergy Insurance can make it easier (and less confusing) to ensure that you get the coverage you need. Get a free, no-obligation insurance checkup if you think your coverage is lacking, and let us be your insurance experts!