What Does Your Flood Insurance Cover?

Since Hurricane Sandy, stories of insurance companies committing insurance fraud and not properly covering their policyholders have been widespread. In light of this, we should be more vigilant now than before to make sure that we get what we’ve paid for, especially in times of need after a hurricane as big as Harvey. Insurance companies have always been notoriously hard to work with, and have always given the dreaded answer:“Your policy doesn’t cover that.” We’re going to take a look at the commonly uncovered parts of insurance policies to get an idea of what the norm is and what you should raise an eyebrow at.

The most commonly uncovered parts of insurance policies are as follows:

  • The damage the occurs from neglect to maintain a property: moisture, mildew, or mold damage are often uncovered
  • Damageable items like liquid assets: money, metals, and documents holding value (checks or stock certificates)
  • Living expenses after a disaster, like money for a hotel room
  • Losses that occur because of a disruption in business due to the loss of workspace, insured or not
  • Many vehicles and their parts
  • Anything that didn’t belong in the house proper. This includes lawn equipment and precious plants.

This almost certainly doesn’t include everything every policy will not cover, however, it’s a list of commonly uncovered areas policyholders experience. An insurance adjuster will often do their best to get an idea of what exactly your policy covers. However, even if your adjuster tells you that you’re uncovered in a specific area, don’t fret or give up.

If something doesn’t make much sense or seems “weird,” you should seek legal counsel. This isn’t to imply for a moment that your adjuster isn’t to be trusted or that any adjuster is out to stiff you, but just as one would get a second opinion from a doctor when you’re given a serious diagnosis you want to make sure is true, you should get a second opinion from legal counsel to make sure of what you can and cannot be covered for. When times are they as they are after hurricane Harvey, every penny helps you and your loved ones and making a push to get everything you deserve is more than justified.

Below is a list of items that are most often covered by flood insurance. If your insurance company is not going to cover one of these items, that is good cause for suspicion and good reason to seek a second opinion.

  • The building proper, if it is insured
  • Necessary systems, like electric and plumbing
  • Air Control equipment, including AC, furnaces, and water heaters
  • Any permanent features, including cabinets or paneling
  • Carpeting
  • Kitchen appliances that are built-in
  • Some portable kitchen appliances, like microwaves
  • Window shades and curtains
  • removal of debris
  • Garages and certain items in them—including detached garages
  • Any electronic equipment, washers, dryers, clothes, or furniture
  • Some items of value, including artwork

These items are most often insured by building and personal property coverage. If your insurance company refuses to cover these commonly covered items, and your adjuster seems to think nothing can really be done about it, seeking legal counsel might be a good idea, even if just to get a second opinion on the matter. Our team here at Williams Kherker has 30 years of experience, and we’re ready to help our fellow Houstonians. Contact us today at (713) 352-0031.

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