Disaster Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
Flood insurance can be purchased by different methods. The most common are listed below with corresponding information regarding how it’s regulated.
Some Commercial property contracts which include coverage for flood are underwritten by licensed insurers in the State of Florida. In this case, the policy falls within the jurisdiction of the Department of Financial Services unless the contract is issued by a Surplus Lines Carrier. Insureds needing assistance with a policy issued according to this paragraph, should call us at 1-877-693-5236.
A Mobile Home Package policy normally includes coverage for flood. If so, the coverage is underwritten by the same carrier as the other coverage and claims will be handled by that carrier or a person so designated. In this case, the policy falls within the jurisdiction of the Department of Financial Services and requests for assistance should be directed to us at 1-877-693-5236.
Other residential and commercial flood policies are issued by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), either directly or through a Write Your Own Carrier. The Write Your Own carriers are licensed in the State of Florida. However, the policies fall within the jurisdiction of the National Flood Insurance Program. The Write Your Own carrier must follow all guidelines of the NFIP relating to all coverage, underwriting, premiums and claims. You can contact the NFIP at (888) 379-9531 or visit FloodSmart.gov to report a claim.
There is normally a 30-day waiting period before flood insurance goes into effect. There are two basic exceptions:
In addition to the two basic exceptions, FEMA has issued a policy decision specifying the following four exceptions:
The Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP) Forms contain complete definitions of the coverages they provide. Direct physical losses by “flood” are covered. Also covered are losses resulting from flood-related erosion caused by waves or currents of water activity exceeding anticipated cyclical levels, or caused by a severe storm, flash flood, abnormal tidal surge, or the like, which result in flooding, as defined. Damage caused by mudflows, as specifically defined in the policy forms, is covered.
The following is insured under Building Property coverage :
Furs or any article containing fur which represents its principal value.
In addition, there are very important exclusions regarding contents and machinery, equipment, fixtures, etc. located at an elevation lower than the lowest elevated floor of a building.
Two, each coverage deductible will apply.
Coverage is provided for foundation elements, including posts, pilings, piers, or other support systems for elevated buildings. Coverage also is available for basement and enclosure utility connections, certain mechanical equipment necessary for the habitability of the building, such as furnaces, hot water heaters, clothes washers and dryers, food freezers and the food in them, air conditioners, heat pumps, electrical junctions, and circuit breaker boxes. Finished structural elements such as paneling and linoleum, and contents items such as rugs and furniture are not covered. The SFIP has a complete list of covered elements and equipment.
Under certain circumstances. Subsidence of land along a lake shore or similar body of water which results from the erosion or undermining of the shoreline caused by waves or currents of water exceeding cyclical levels that result in a flood is covered. All other land subsidence is excluded. We do not insure for direct physical loss caused directly or indirectly by any of the following:
Only for single-family dwellings and residential condominium buildings, if several criteria are met. Replacement cost coverage is available for a single-family dwelling, including a residential condominium unit that is the policyholder’s principal residence and is insured for at least 80 percent of the unit’s replacement cost at the time of the loss, up to the maximum amount of insurance available at the inception of the policy term. Replacement cost coverage does not apply to manufactured (i.e., mobile) homes smaller than certain dimensions specified in the policy. Losses are adjusted on a replacement cost basis for residential condominium buildings insured under the Residential Condominium Building Association Policy (RCBAP). The principal residence and the 80 percent insurance to value requirements for single-family dwellings do not apply to the RCBAP. However, coverage amounts less than 80 percent of the building’s full replacement cost value at the time of loss will be subject to a co-insurance penalty.
Contents losses are always adjusted on an actual cash value basis. If the replacement cost conditions are not met, the building loss is also adjusted on an actual cash value basis. Actual cash value means the replacement cost of an insured item of property at the time of loss, less the value of physical depreciation as to the item damaged.
No. The policy only covers direct physical flood damage to the dwelling and does not provide additional living expenses.
Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) coverage under the Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP) provides for the payment of a claim to help pay for the cost to comply with State or community floodplain management laws or ordinances from a flood event in which a building has been declared substantially damaged or repetitively damaged. When an insured building is damaged by a flood and the State or community declares the building to be substantially damaged or repetitively damaged, ICC coverage will help pay for the cost to elevate, floodproof, demolish, or relocate the building up to a maximum benefit of $30,000. This coverage is in addition to the building coverage for the repair of actual physical damages from flood under the SFIP.
A flood insurance policyholder should immediately report any flood loss to the insurance company or agent who wrote the policy. A claims adjuster will be assigned the loss, and the policyholder must file a “proof of loss” within 60 days of the date of loss. A policyholder whose policy is with a WYO company must follow the company’s claim procedures. The 60-day time limit for filling a proof of loss remains the same.
A proof of loss-the policyholder’s valuation of claimed damages - is a sworn statement made by the policyholder that substantiates the insurance claim and is required to be submitted to the NFIP or WYO company within 60 days of the loss. A printed form usually is available from the adjuster assigned to the claim.