Minor Floods Can Lead to Injuries, Accidents and Insurance Problems

Posted on September 24, 2014 at 10:57am by

Atlantic City Attorneys Answer Questions About Insurance Claims

Flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States. Floods can result from snowmelt, overflowing rivers or weakened levees, as we saw in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. More than half the people whose homes were destroyed in that catastrophe did not live in a flood zone and had no flood insurance.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration studied shoreline patterns for what it termed “nuisance flooding,” or floods in which no one is injured but homeowners must contend with flooded roadways and buildings—the kind of floods that are more aggravating than hazardous.

They found that over the last 50 years, the number of minor floods along our nation’s coastlines has consistently crept upwards. Scientists say that this is due primarily to rising sea levels.

People, of course, worry far more about catastrophic events like hurricanes and tornadoes, but minor floods, while less severe, are actually a far greater day-to-day issue.

Researchers examined 25 coastal cities around the country with records going back further than 1950; Atlantic City was among them. They noted that fifty years ago, the average was roughly two and a half days of minor flooding a year. In 2013, those same cities averaged almost two weeks per year.

Those 25 cities have also recorded an average sea level rise of almost six inches since 1963.

Nuisance Flooding Can Be Far More Than a Small Problem

The insurance claim for a flood can often exceed $87,000, and unfortunately disputes over what insurance actually covers is far too common.

Many homeowners purchase basic property insurance to cover damages to their homes, but it is vital to know that this does not usually cover losses due to flooding.

The general confusion between flood insurance and homeowner’s insurance leads to a growing number of bad faith claims, as insurers do their utmost to wiggle out from under any and all responsibilities. Bad faith, in terms of flood insurance, generally means that an insurance carrier has refused to pay the settlement on a covered claim. Many insurance companies will drag this procedure on as long as possible, leaving a flooded homeowner swimming in uncertainty.

Knowing the appropriate flood insurance to have in place may prevent disputes over an insurance claim. Winning a bad faith case in court is extremely difficult, and best handled by an attorney who understands the intricacies of insurance law. Solid legal representation could ultimately be the deciding factor in whether you are able to recover from your losses after a minor flood.

If your home has been subject to minor flooding, you may need an experienced Atlantic City lawyer to assist you in navigating the tricky waters of an insurance claim. If your insurance company is denying you payment for something covered under your policy, you may have a bad faith insurance claim. The staff at Targan Pender & Strickland, P.C. has 45 years of experience, and we are proud to stay in close contact with our clients for the duration of their cases. Contact us today for a free consultation.