As a homeowner, it’s important to understand what exactly homeowner’s insurance covers. While it does cover a wide range of possible damages to our homes and the things we keep inside, most homeowner’s policies do NOT account for destruction caused by flooding. Usually, we must purchase a separate policy to protect our home against flooding. This does not, however, mean that we won’t be covered in the case of water damage. In fact, after a property is damaged from a water-related incident, the burden of proof of flood damage is on the insurance company. Although they may try to claim that the damage was caused by a flood to avoid payment, they must prove that the “flood” (as defined by policy) was the reason for damage. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), a flood is defined as “a general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres and two or more properties of normally dry land.” To qualify as flood damage, it can only be caused by one of the following:
- Inland or tidal water overflows
- Abnormal water accumulation or runoff
- Landslides leading to waves or currents in nearby bodies of water
As long as your home’s damage was not caused by any of the above, you will typically be entitled to coverage for a water damage claim (in the absence of some other applicable exclusion). If you or a loved one feels that a homeowner’s insurance claim has been mishandled, or you need representation for a water damage claim, call Van Cleave Law for an experienced Mississippi flood damage attorney. Our dedicated legal team has experience dealing with insurance companies who refuse to pay for damages their policyholders are entitled to.