South Florida is a region which often receives direct hits from storms. Recently, our region was greatly affected by Hurricane Irma. Here at Triumph, we have been working hard over the last few weeks to help our community settle insurance claims for the maximum amount and restore our client’s property. We have noted that there are insurance limitations or exclusions that can cause issues and denials for policy holders. A policy limitation or exclusion that is especially important for many policyholders is the water exclusion from wind driven rain.
What Claims do Insurance Companies Deny?
It is important to not assume that all water damage is covered by your flood insurance or home insurance. Home owners or business owners can be unpleasantly surprised by a claim denial due to wind driven rain. A claim denial can be devastating to a policy holder that is already reeling from the disruption of a hurricane and damage to their property. Insurance companies divide up hurricane damages based on the specific parts like flooding, wind, rain, and then factor in if the property has been maintained. In coastal states, windstorm coverage may be excluded from commercial all-risk policies. Flooding is usually also excluded in most home policies and covered only by flood insurance.
What is Wind Driven Rain?
Insurance policies are written in complicated legal language, but it is important to understand your policy because it affects you if the damage to your home or business is covered. The exclusion that is often the cause of a claim denial is called wind driven rain. The water damage is basically caused by wind creating an opening and forcing the water into the home or business.
If damage was created from wind or rain, this exclusion does not go into effect and the damage is typically covered. The idea behind the exclusion is that the home was in disrepair and had broken tiles on the roof, spaces around the windows, or space under the doors before the storm that allowed the damage
The insurer will then deny the claim citing that damage would not have occurred if the building was not in disrepair or did not have a construction issue.
What should you do?
If your property was damaged by several storm factors, such as flooding and wind, the claim and coverages or exclusions can become quite complicated. Familiarizing yourself with your insurance policy and working to maintain your home or business before a storm, is always a good idea. Even if you take these steps in deciphering your policy and dealing with an insurance company, after the devastation of a storm, it can be overwhelming. Here at Triumph Consulting we have over 30 years combined expert public adjuster experience with navigating insurance policies. We work for the insured. Triumph Consulting Corp., Florida Public Adjusters will fight for your rights to make sure you get the most money you deserve when filing an insurance claim.
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