Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act Signed Into Law

827175_5c1bf314e96c42e396826280d5b9e72cHurricane Isaac left its mark throughout the state of Florida causing damage to commercial and residential property. The damage, which includes flooding and physical destruction has resulted in a need for repairing, replacing, and restoring both public owned facilities and residential areas. Given the adverse effects of Hurricane Isaac Governor Rick Scott requested federal assistance be received by several areas within Florida including Bay County, Collier County, Escambia County, Monroe County, Okaloosa County, Palm Beach County, and Santa Rosa County. In order for the state of Florida to receive assistance the threshold of $25 million in uninsured damages needs to be met. Those affected in residential areas are advised to contact their local county emergency management agency.

Unfortunately, tropical storms, tornados, or hurricanes can result in millions of dollars in property damage claims. Thus, insurance companies welcome opportunities to discourage claims, limit payouts, or deny any coverage. Insurance companies may rely on obscure policy exclusions and technicalities relating to premiums or applications. Furthermore, they may only provide coverage if an outrageous deductible is paid. The federal government provides the majority of the flood insurance throughout Florida. This is because private insurers do not want to undertake the high risk and cost that result from flood damage, especially in high flood areas. As a result, the federal government agreed to use tax dollars in order to underwrite flood insurance. Private insurers may sell and service the policies – but again, the underwriter is the federal government.

Do not become a victim by assuming you are not in a flood zone. Keep in mind that after Hurricane Katrina, 80 percent of properties damaged in some states did not have flood insurance. Furthermore, non-flood areas can become flood areas over time. Find out your flood risk by checking the National Flood Risk Insurance Program at www.floodsmart.gov. The National Flood Risk Insurance Program site provides flood risk assessments pertaining to a specific address. Also, the Office of Insurance Regulation in Florida estimates that the majority of households do not have flood coverage. Some of these households are located in high flood risk areas and others wrongly assume that their standard homeowners’ policy covers flood-related loss. FEMA’s website offers tutorials on reading and understanding flood insurance rate maps. For further information their website can be visited at www.fema.gov. If you have questions about your insurance coverage, contact The Izquierdo Law Firm.

Furthermore, to assist with this issue, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act was recently signed into law last week. The Act combats high rates and the elimination of grandfathering of people who have purchased subsidized property. This will allow a gradual increase instead of lump increases in regards to subsidies. Spokespersons for insurance companies have agreed that the new legislation balances affordability and availability, making it easier to obtain flood insurance.

If your insurance company acts in bad faith despite the new Act, by denying or not issuing just compensation for your claim contact The Izquierdo Law Firm. Our highly trained and motivated staff deals directly with the insurance provider in regards to having damaged personal property replaced; ensuring reimbursement is received for hotel and food expenses resulting from an unsafe house, and more. Our team will fight to make sure you receive the just compensation you deserve.

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Alexis Izquierdo

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The Lawyers at Alexis Izquierdo, P.A. are committed to provide personalized legal representation for all kinds of personal injury cases in Hialeah, Florida.