I believe that I speak for most in the Baton Rouge and Acadiana areas when I say that these recent storms and the resulting flooding has completely taken me by surprise. The photos on Facebook of flooding are devastating.
If your property has been damaged due to these floods, I highly suggest that you call your insurance company and ask for a copy of your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy so that you can determine whether you have the appropriate flood coverage. You are only covered up to the policy limits that you selected for your policy, and, unfortunately, if any losses exceed those limits, you may have to pay out-of-pocket for the repairs to your home and replacement of your belongings. Therefore, it is very important to immediately review the terms of your policy so that you can begin to plan how to repair whatever damages you have sustained.
Many flood insurance policies provide the following coverage limits/maximum amounts that you can claim for payment of whatever flood-related damages you have sustained:
Coverage Type Coverage Limit
One to four-family structure $250,000
One to four-family home contents $100,000
Other residential structures $500,000
Other residential contents $100,000
Business structure $500,000
Business contents $500,000
Renter contents $100,000
Flood insurance protects two types of insurable property: building and contents. The first covers your building, while the latter covers your possessions; neither covers the land they occupy. Building and contents coverage usually includes the following, but you need to see what your particular policy provides:
Building coverage usually includes:
- The insured building and its foundation
- The electrical and plumbing system
- Central air conditioning equipment, furnaces, and water heaters
- Refrigerators, cooking stoves, and built-in appliances such as dishwashers
- Permanently installed carpeting over unfinished flooring
Contents coverage usually includes
- Clothing, furniture, and electronic equipment
- Portable and window air conditioners
- Portable microwaves and dishwashers
- Carpeting that is not already included in property coverage
- Clothing washers and dryers
If you purchased your flood insurance policy through the National Flood Insurance Program, you may have a maximum coverage of $250,000 for property damage to the home and $100,000 for contents/personal belongings in the home. However, those coverages must have been purchased separately, and any excess coverage has to have been purchased by private insurance providers.
Lastly, it is important to note that most policies do not go into effect until 30 days after you purchase them. If you are unsure about whether or not your policy is active, call your local agent.
If you have any additional questions related to this topic and your circumstances, please feel free to contact the Russell Law Firm.
By: Danny Russell, Baton Rouge area insurance litigation attorney, licensed in Louisiana.
Danny Russell is a Baton Rouge lawyer who has experience dealing with the insurance companies and evaluating his clients’ damages. If you have suffered property damage as a result from the recent floods in Louisiana, call the Russell Law Firm. We will contact your insurance company and demand that they make payment for your damages.
****INFORMATION FURNISHED HEREIN IS ONLY GENERAL AND NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR PERSONALIZED LEGAL ADVICE.
****The photograph above is not a depiction of any actual event or scene, but merely a dramatization.