Flood Insurance in New Jersey
With all the wet weather our region has seen lately, the potential for flooding has increased significantly. It’s been raining for days with no sign of dry weather in sight. Creeks that have overflowed their banks have wreaked havoc on communities. Roads have been washed out, cars have been swept away in the roaring waters, and lives have been turned upside down from the destructive flash flooding.
One of the most dangerous things this flooding has done includes damaging and destroying multiple homes across New Jersey. The high waters have raised some interesting legal questions involving flood insurance and what can be done to ensure you get the money you deserve.
Do You Need Flood Insurance for Your Home?
According to the New Jersey Realtors Governmental Research Foundation, a flood insurance policy is “required for any property located in a 100-year floodplain with a mortgage from a federally backed or regulated lender.” In most instances, flood insurance is provided by the federal National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), and any community in the Garden State can join to reap the benefits in case disaster strikes. The NFIP can provide up to $250,000 in damage to your home, which includes clean up, repairs, debris removal, and removal of mildew and mold.
In recent years, private insurance options have been made available to homeowners. These private insurers have provided better rates with more options in some instances. Either if it’s through private or federally funded insurance, having a flood insurance is mandatory for homes near bodies of water in low-lying areas.
What If You Do Not Have Flood Insurance?
Then there is every day, run of the mill home insurance policies. These types of policies protect homes from fire, storm damage, theft, or vandalism. When it comes to flooding and water damage, not so much. Typical home insurance policies will only provide protection for water damage if:
- Water damage was caused by rain
- Water damage was not caused by flooding (as defined in an individual’s policy)
- The language in your home insurance policy regarding flood damage is unclear
- You have a “surplus lines” excess policy that doesn’t include flood damage
You always have the option of filing a claim after the waters have died down and the damage has been done, but sometimes that doesn’t work…
Filing A Flood Insurance Claim – We Can Help!
After the damage is done, the first thing homeowners need to do is contact their insurance company immediately to start the claims process. Make sure the damage is documented, either by listing it all or taking pictures.
The next step is the most important of them all – contacting an experienced insurance claims attorney, like Anthony Carbone. He will help you with the claims process, and if your claim is denied, he will fight on your behalf to get you the compensation you need to start repairing the damages.
Our law offices are only one call or click away, and the consultation is free. We look forward to hearing from you.