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Hurricane Season is Here: Is Your Insurance Policy Water Tight?

Posted on June 27, 2012

Hurricane Season has just begun and two tropical storms have already made landfall in Florida. Debby and Beryl have left communities without power, spawned killer tornadoes, and caused extensive property damage due to high winds, driving rains, and flooding.

But, even if your home has been damaged by a severe storm, you have a homeowner’s policy and your insurer will cover all the damage, right?

Don’t bet on it.

Insurance experts agree that you should always review your property insurance policy before hurricane season starts so that you know exactly what your coverage is. Florida law mandates that insurers give policyholders a complete list of what is covered and what is not in their policy.

Also, since most basic homeowner’s property policies don’t cover flooding, it is essential to get separate flood insurance. Inland flooding can occur as far as 500 miles from a hurricane, so thinking you might be safe if you are not near the shore is a bad bet. Be warned: the coverage isn’t cheap and probably will come with a high deductible. The federal government provides almost all of the flood insurance in this country.

And speaking of deductibles, always make sure you know the amount of your deductible. In Florida, insurers are required to make this clear — in big bold lettering — on the policy.

Increasingly, insurers are trying to shift the burden of insurance costs from themselves to the consumer. To avoid nasty surprises, you must be diligent when dealing with them and you must know your legal rights if they try to delay or even deny meritorious claims.

The Jacksonville hurricane dispute attorneys at Farah & Farah aren’t afraid to take on insurers when they show bad faith by denying or underpaying legitimate claims. Those who try to take on an insurer without legal representation may not receive what is due to them. If an insurance company is stonewalling you, it is important that you contact a lawyer at least to learn more about your legal rights and options. For a free consultation, please call us at (800) 533-3555.