Florida residents need to be careful when flood zones change, because they may require separate flood insurance coverage if they do not already have it. During hurricanes and other forms of severe weather, flooding can severely damage homes and other types of property.
Collier County makes changes to flood zones and provides information
FEMA is responsible for deciding which areas in the state require flood insurance based on their location and proximity to the ocean and large bodies of water. Sometimes, residents can be caught off guard by this process if they are suddenly placed in a flood zone and did not know. Insurance claims will be denied if a flood is responsible for damage to a home and the owner did not have a separate flood policy at the time. A general homeowners insurance policy will not cover this type of damage.
Collier County residents may have been surprised in early 2020 when the federal agency updated flood zone maps in the area. Residents had noticed rising water in certain areas for years before these changes were made. There were also some inconsistencies with the zones that were corrected, as houses in the area seemed to be randomly placed in flood zones. One house may have been in a zone, while their neighbors were not.
The county will be using these maps from FEMA for a number of official purposes. Unfortunately, this means that some homeowners may see their insurance rates go up, or they may now be required to purchase an additional flood policy, which can be expensive. These differences in prices can also correspond to a home’s base elevation level. Higher elevation homes always have lower rates.
FEMA and local governments use a number of factors such as historical rainfall amounts and elevation to determine flood zones and make updates. The county made the updated maps available online, but many have commented that they are very difficult to read. When a homeowner’s flood zone status changes, they should be given an official notice in the mail.
Getting insurance claim money after a disaster
When a flood or other kinds of severe weather affect a home, a homeowner has to go through a number of steps before they can receive payments to make repairs. Insurance companies may even deny legitimate claims for a number of reasons. They can also severely underpay a claim based on an improper estimate from an adjuster. Due to the possibility of these problems, it is important to get legal advice if you are having problems with the insurance process.
Speak with an insurance claims lawyer
There are attorneys who serve Cape Coral, Naples, and other nearby parts of Florida with advice related to insurance. To learn more, contact:
2423 First Street, Fort Myers, FL 33901