Living or doing business in Baton Rouge means that landowners must be aware of all the hazards that could affect their property. The aftermath of Hurricane Ida has made this even clearer as millions of people have endured life-threatening flooding due to storm surge, torrential rains, and broken levies.
Many residents have made the smart choice of obtaining hurricane insurance policies that protect against flooding and other sources of water damage. Even so, they must take steps to properly catalog these forms of damage that occur after a hurricane and ensure that their policies provide protection, which may require the assistance of a hurricane damage claims attorney.
It’s important to fully understand the impact of flood and water damage after a Baton Rouge hurricane. Possessing this knowledge could help you file more effective claim requests to your insurance company and take the necessary steps toward economic recovery.
Possible Sources and Consequences of Water Damage and Flooding
Hurricanes provide unique threats to real estate and the property within. The storms can produce multiple inches of rain per hour. This can quickly overwhelm a city’s sewer systems and cause backups that take over a home or business’s plumbing. The resulting rise in internal water levels can cause water damage in basements, bathrooms, and kitchens.
However, the more obvious source of danger is rising rivers and storm surge. Here, the sudden influx in water can quickly rise over the edge of levies and sandbags to turn streets into canals. The pressure from this water can tear away walls or even cause buildings to collapse.
Either of these outcomes can have devastating impacts on the city and its residents. Of course, if the water causes structural collapse, the building is considered a complete loss. But buildings that remain standing may suffer significant water damage that can manifest as mold, dry rot, or other long-term hazards.
Differentiating Flood and Water Damage in Insurance Policies
As clear as it is that hurricanes can result in catastrophic property damage, not every “Hurricane Policy” will provide protection against these events. A key difference to remember is the line that separates flood damage and water damage.
Water damage occurs when a building’s internal plumbing fails and causes water to enter the structure. Examples can include overflowing toilets or burst pipes. Most common homeowner insurance policies will cover these types of events.
However, flood damage constitutes a separate type of damage under many policies. This describes situations where the source of the damage comes from outside the building. For instance, rising rivers fall under this category. A standard property insurance policy may not cover these losses. When considering a hurricane policy, be sure to check that the policy specifically includes protection against flood damage.
Suffering Flood and Water Damage After a Baton Rouge Hurricane Raises Insurance Policy Questions
There isn’t any doubt that hurricanes that affect Baton Rouge can result in significant water damage. This can include infestations of mold or dry rot that make a building uninhabitable. It can also involve catastrophic water damage that completely destroys a structure.
It’s vital that you understand how insurance policies classify this damage. In some cases, the damage may be covered under a common property insurance policy, but flood damage that results from outside water usually requires a separate flood clause. Ensuring that your insurance policies provide protection against both water and flood damage can help to simplify the claims process after hurricanes in Baton Rouge. If you have questions, our firm is happy to help. Call us for a free consultation.