THE NEED FOR A FLOOD INSURANCE LAWYER

Flood Insurance is a separately written coverage for which additional premium is charged. Flood coverage buys-back the standard exclusion for flood damage found in virtually all Homeowners and Commercial Property policies. Many property owners have no interest in purchasing this protection because their properties are not located in a Flood Zone. 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administers the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). FEMA, in conjunction with local jurisdictions, has designated certain properties as Special Flood Hazard Areas, which require the local jurisdiction to develop an approved storm water management program. In return for these local efforts, FEMA will underwrite Flood Insurance for properties located in 100-year Flood plains. Visit FEMA’s web site (http://msc.fema.gov) to learn more about whether your property is in a Flood Zone.

Building owners applying for federally-backed mortgages are required to have flood insurance if they are located in a 100-year flood plain. Many private insurance companies are licensed to issue and service FEMA-backed flood insurance policies.

It is important to note that “flood”, as described in the exclusions found in standard Property and Homeowners policies, includes rising waters from rivers, streams and lakes as well as coastal storm surge. Although some courts have liberally granted coverage for storm surge driven by “wind” (a covered peril in Homeowners Policies), it is clearly not the intent of these policies to cover damage resulting from rising waters.

Sometimes, an Insurance Agent or Surveyor will make a professional error in determining a property’s flood hazard zone. This can result in a reduction or denial of coverage, with the property owner left to absorb the financial loss of these often-catastrophic claims. In addition, where an Insurance Agent acts in an advisory capacity, failure to recommend flood insurance can be a costly error.

If you believe that your agent or surveyor has misled you about the need for flood insurance coverage, contact Mr. Sapourn to schedule a FREE CONSULTATION. He will help you determine the best possible avenues available.