Tropical Storm Erika and Flood Damage

flood damageFlorida narrowly escaped another hurricane last weekend with the demise of Tropical Storm Erika. However, her remnants are still bringing about heavy moisture and rainfall in the U.S. Southeast, especially Florida. The approach of a major storm typically motivates people to prepare; to buy water, non perishable food, and maybe even a home generator. It also causes Floridians to stop and think about their homes, what methods they have to protect them, such as hurricane shutters, and of course, their homeowners insurance. But do they consider what their homeowners insurance covers? Does it cover water damage? What about flood damage?

According to the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), there are two ways in which water enters a building as a result of storm damage: The first involves falling or windblown rainwater that enters because of damage to roof components or wall assemblies. The second involves horizontally traveling ground surface water containing silt and soil contaminants that infiltrate into structures, generally through doors or around foundation walls. This ground surface water (storm surge) may accumulate to a depth of several inches or several feet, causing major flood damage. When structures are partially submerged or remain substantially flooded for weeks, far more elaborate restoration procedures usually are required, and costs continue to rise.

Unfortunately, what many homeowners don’t know, is that they may have adequate insurance to cover the first type of storm damage, but not the second. In other words, if water damage occurs because of wind-driven rain or a tree falling on the roof, it will most likely be covered by the homeowners insurance. But if the water damage is caused by flooding, a far more common problem during storm season, basic homeowners insurance will not cover it. 

As the aftermath of Erika continues to bring rain and flash flooding in some areas, it is advisable to contact your local insurance agent to inquire about your current coverage and receive advice as to any additional coverage you need. But if you are one of those who is currently facing water or flood damage, do not hesitate to contact Joe Taylor Restoration. We currently serve as the preferred vendor for over 45 insurance carriers in the Florida market, and we will provide assistance with the insurance claims process. We promise to arrive on scene within two hours, and restore your home to its original condition.