Flood Insurance Lawyers In Dallas & Houston, Texas for Flood Damage Claims
Floods cause a massive amount of damage each year to property owners throughout the United States. Through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) – established pursuant to federal legislation in 1968 – certain property owns can purchase flood insurance to protect their property against the risk of flood. While some people may be able to secure flood insurance through private insurers, most homeowners policies do not cover flooding. In addition, most forms of federal disaster assistance are only available when the President declares a major disaster.
Five Critical Steps to Filing a Flood Insurance Claim
My wife and I thought we were heading into a complicated legal odyssey with a destroyed commercial property until we hired Bill Kendall. His sustained focus and hard work was so effective that we had a great settlement within hours of the first deposition.F. Jones - Multi-Family Property Claim (Dallas, TX)
Our large hotel was severely damaged by hail. After significant delays by the insurance company, our claim was denied. We hired Bill Kendall and Grisham & Kendall soon after. Through Bill’s efforts during our lawsuit, we were able to reach a favorable settlement close to trial. We would certainly recommend Grisham & Kendall, PLLC to any property owner whose insurance company isn’t treating them fairly.D. Patel - Hotel Hail Claim
Who Needs Flood Damage Insurance?
Flood insurance is not required for property owners whose property is outside a designated high-risk area. Regardless, many properties remain vulnerable to flood damage in the event of heavy rains, even those outside of specified high-risk areas. In fact, people outside of such high-risk areas make over 20 percent of the claims paid by NFIP and receive approximately one-third of disaster assistance provided for flooding. If your property is not located in a high-risk area, talk to your insurance agent to determine whether your home or commercial building is eligible for flood coverage.
How Often Do 500 Year Floods Happen
Flood Damage Insurance Coverage
Most flood policies cover direct physical damage to buildings or personal property as a result of flood. The extent and amount of your damages may be up for debate as to what caused the damage. The answers to these questions may determine whether the damages are covered under a standard homeowners policy or flood policy. The determination regarding causation (i.e., flood v. wind) can have significant consequences on what you’re entitled to recover from insurance. For example, most homeowners policies provided loss of use coverage which will pay for you to live at another home while your claim is being adjuster and while the repairs are made. Flood policies don’t typically provide loss of use coverage.
In general, flood insurance covers loss to the following:
Building Property coverage – flood coverage protects the insured’s building and foundation as well as the home or building’s various components (e.g., electrical and plumbing systems, HVAC equipment, water heaters, built-in appliances, permanently installed carpeting and paneling, etc.).
Contents coverage – flood coverage generally protects against loss to personal belongings, including clothing, furniture, electronics, curtains, portable HVAC systems, washers and dryers, carpets not included in building coverage, certain valuable items, etc.
Most flood insurance policies do NOT insure loss for Building Property or Contents coverage for the following items:
- Additional damage to property caused by moisture, mildew or mold that could’ve been avoided by the property owner;
- Landscaping, septic systems, walks, decks, patios, fences, swimming pools;
- Currency, precious metals, and valuable papers;
- Additional living expenses such as temporary housing in the event your home is not habitable; and
- Financial losses caused by business interruption;
Some of the coverages identified below may be assessed by various experts, including engineers, environmental experts such as certified industrial hygienists, roofers, general contractors, among other qualified professionals. If you have questions or concerns about the individuals hired by the insurance company, you may need to retain your own experts.
As always, it is important to review your individual policy to determine the specific insurance coverage provided by your insurance policy. If you have any questions concerning your flood insurance coverage, please call the attorneys at Grisham & Kendall, PLLC, call (214) 308-2027.
Structural Damages Caused by Floods & Water
Floods can cause massive damages to a home that may leave a homeowner scrambling to file an insurance claim. These devastating natural disasters can quickly destroy or contaminate a person’s home, leaving them with thousands of dollars in damages and a need to act quickly to repair the home. In fact, one of the more serious types of damage that a home can sustain is structural damage, which can make getting prompt insurance coverage even more critical.
At Grisham & Kendall, PLLC, we understand the kind of immense stress flood damages can bring for homeowners in Dallas, especially if an insurance company refuses to provide the necessary coverage. Fortunately, homeowners can fight for the insurance they are owed when an insurance company is not abiding by the terms of an insurance policy.
Flood & Water Damage That Ruin Homes
In most cases, flood damages can be fixed through substantial repair and rebuilding efforts that a homeowner may even be able to do on his or her own. Although serious, these damages often don’t require considerable reconstruction or changes to a home’s basic structure. However, in the following situations, floods may have damaged crucial structural portions of a home, requiring more significant repairs:
- Excessive water retention in the ceiling, causing a collapse
- Water damage that damages the house’s foundation
- Pressure on the basement walls and floors that causes substantial cracks
- Destruction or contamination of weight-bearing structures inside the house
In the most extreme cases, flood damages may compromise a home’s structural integrity to the point at which the home is no longer safe to be in, as it may not remain upright. In these worst-case scenarios, a homeowner may need to tear down their home and rebuild entirely.
Repairing Flood & Water Damage
A flood can be a devastating event that can damage commercial or residential property and anything inside it. If your home or business has been damaged because of flooding from a natural disaster, roof leak, or plumbing issue, you may have a long list of repairs and replacements that are needed to restore your property to its original condition. If you have insurance, you should check the terms of your policy to determine whether flood damage is covered as part of your plan.
Flood Damage Repair Steps
When your property is affected by flooding, it is important to first and foremost have someone inspect your property to determine the extent of the damage and the estimated repair or replacement costs. If you have insurance, have an adjuster visit before you invest any money in cleanup. Once the full extent of the damage has been recorded, you can begin to restore your property. Typically, repairing a home or business after a flood is an intensive process involving:
- Water extraction from the flooring, carpet, furniture, and foundation
- Removing all permanently damaged property
- Drying all surfaces of the property to prevent mold growth
- Cleaning all surfaces affected by the flooding
- Repairing or replacing damaged goods
How Our Experienced Flood Insurance Lawyers Can Help
Restoring a home or business back to its undamaged state can be a difficult and costly process. If you have filed a claim for flood damage from your insurer but have not received payment for the repairs you need, our Dallas flood insurance lawyers can help. We will work on your behalf to pursue aggressive legal action for the settlement that you are owed according to your insurance policy.
Call (214) 308-2027
Discuss Flood Insurance with an Attorney in Dallas or Houston, Texas
If your property has been damaged in a flood and the insurance company has failed to pay their fair share of coverage, our lawyers at Grisham & Kendall, PLLC, may be able to help you fight for those funds. To learn more about filing a bad faith insurance claim, call (214) 308-2027.
Mold Growth after a Flood
Northern and Central Texas see their fair share of severe weather, especially when it comes to sudden and severe rain. This can easily lead to flood conditions, even in Dallas, which can then cause damage to your home or business. In some cases, water damage from floods can also increase the chances of mold, which has dangers of its own that you may have to face.
Unfortunately, getting insurance assistance after a flood can be unusually difficult, particularly when dealing with issues such as mold growth. However, if the reason a person is struggling to get insurance coverage is because of an insurance company’s improper actions, he or she can take legal action to pursue the coverage they believe they are owed.
Dangers of Mold Growth after a Flood
Although mold can grow under any circumstances, it is especially common after a food. This is due to the large amounts of water and usually long period of time that damp or wet conditions are allowed to persist.
Depending on where the mold grows, it can present a number of different issues. One of the most major concerns associated with mold growth is the danger it can present to people’s health. As certain molds can even be life-threatening, it is necessary to remove the mold immediately. Because it can be costly to get mold removed, especially in large amounts and hard to reach areas, getting insurance coverage for these costs can be critical.
Discuss Flood Damage and Insurance Claims with an Attorney in Dallas
If your home has been damaged by severe weather in Dallas and you are risking the effects of mold growth, the attorneys of Grisham & Kendall, PLLC, can help you fight for the insurance coverage you need but may be being denied by your company. Contact our offices today by calling (214) 308-2027 to learn more.
What Many Flood Insurance Policies Don’t Cover
Flood insurance is often a crucial investment for anyone living near a sizable body of water, as the weather can quickly turn even relatively calm, small rivers or lakes into highly destructive forces of nature. However, flood insurance shouldn’t be confused for a comprehensive policy. Most policies intended to cover flood damages may only actually cover very particular instances of water damage or may only extend to certain areas of a person’s property.
At Grisham & Kendall, PLLC, we believe that policyholders should receive all of the coverage they are owed according to their insurance policy. Unfortunately, many insurance companies fail to provide full coverage or any at all. In this case, the help of a legal professional may be necessary to obtain the financial assistance you need.
Limits to Flood Coverage
A homeowner should know the limits of their flood insurance coverage, as they may want to invest in other policies to cover what one insurer won’t. The following are generally left off of a flood policy, but may be included in some arrangements, depending on the insurance company and the specific type of policy the policyholder buys:
- Swimming pool and landscaping damages from floods
- Non-structural damages to basements
- Living expenses or business losses
- Valuable documents, including cash
- Damages from internal water leaks, not external flood waters
- Water damages that are too small to be considered a flood by the insurance company
However, if a flood does occur and the damages that are covered by the policy aren’t paid for according to the policy’s rules, the insured homeowner may have grounds to pursue a legal claim for those losses.
Contact a Flood Insurance Claim Lawyer in Dallas
If you haven’t received fair coverage from an insurer after filing a flood damage claim, you may be eligible to pursue that coverage through legal action. Our lawyers at Grisham & Kendall, PLLC, believe you shouldn’t have to put up with bad faith insurance practices and may be able to help you. For more information about your rights, call (214) 308-2027.