So you have insurance on your property. Congratulations! You pay a premium each month with the expectation that you will receive compensation in case of damage to your property.
Of course, anyone with insurance knows that this contract between a homeowner and their insurance company is not so simple. Policyholders only receive compensation when damages take place during an “insured event.”
How Florida Insured Event Coverage Works
After the insured event transpires, the policyholder files a claim, and the company pays out that claim. However, things get complicated if your insurance company deems the event outside of the scope of “insured events.”
Although there are some basic policy elements to the various types of insurance, every plan is unique depending up on the policyholder’s agreement in their carrier. The best way to know what your plan covers is to read your policy or reach out directly to your insurance company.
In the meantime, learn what common events are considered insured events in Florida, as well as common events that occur in this state that are outside of the normal scope of policy coverage.
Common Insured Events in Florida
If any of the following cause damage to your property, you should be able to get coverage through your homeowner’s insurance:
- Fire, smoke, volcanic eruptions, or lightning
- Windstorms, ice, snow, sleet, or hail
- Explosions caused by a third-party
- Riots in the area
- Aircraft or vehicle crashes
- Criminal mischief, including vandalism or theft
- Volcanic eruptions.
- Falling objects
- Water overflow, freezing, or sudden cracks from HVAC systems or other appliances
- Power surges
Again, not all of these events are covered by all plans. Depending on the area where you live and the policy you hold, some of these events may not be covered by your personal policy.
Floridians who are at risk for the issues described below may want to consider buying an add-on to your policy, as well.
Common Events Left Out of Typical Homeowners Insurance Policies
You may have noticed that a few natural disasters or damaging events are not on the list of commonly covered events. Insurance policies in Florida and throughout the United States, generally do not cover:
- Pest or mold infestations
- Power failures
- COVID exposure
Damage potentially caused by homeowners, including neglect or general wear and tear, does not fall under most policies either. On the whole, homeowner’s insurance policies tend to cover disasters that you cannot plan for or prevent.
So what can you do in order to plan ahead for those events that could result in various damages but are not exactly common disasters? Consider special event insurance.
Do You Need Special Event Insurance?
Gatherings and special occasions also do not classify as insured events, but they can cause financial damage. Weddings, gender reveals, and other large gatherings have been known to cost big bucks.
The sudden cancellation of an event can result in the loss of funds. Property damage as the result of games of clumsy guests can also rack up costs. You cannot go to your average insurance company if you need compensation, however.
Special event insurance (or “one-day event insurance”) covers the cost from a specific list of events. You can add many “insured events” to your list:
- Weddings or anniversary
- Baby showers
- Religious celebrations
- Birthday parties (including Quinceañeras)
Some venues require this type of insurance before you book a special occasion. Other venues may simply recommend it. If you are hosting an event without special event insurance, you put yourself at a higher risk of paying for damages after the event is over.
Not every alternative event is covered by special event insurance either. Bachelor parties or private corporate parties with a higher risk of damage occurring may not qualify for a special event policy with your preferred carrier.
When There Is Damage, File an Insurance Claim
Once you have determined that your damages are linked to an insured event, it’s time to file a claim. The timeline that you have to complete this process will vary on your specific policy.
Order of Operations After an Insured Event
Best practices suggest that you begin this process right away, and collect detailed information about the costs of damages as you go. Contact your insurance agent to get started.
Before even that, though, your first priority should be the safety of your family and anyone who lives on your property. Take steps to prevent further immediate damage, and record the costs of these measures. Clean up any damage that could cause more harm.
Then, once you’ve reached out to your carrier to initiate the claims process, continue taking inventory of damage and follow up with your insurance agent when necessary.
Normal Processing of Your Insurance Claim
You should receive a notice about the status of your claim within 15 business days. Insurance companies may also send out an insurance adjuster to assess the damage or ask you to fill out more forms related to the cost of your damages.
Once the company has agreed to pay out the claim, you should receive your check within a manner of days.
Of course, this is not always a simple process. If you need further assistance reaching your insurance company or receiving the compensation you deserve, reach out to a personal injury lawyer.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and named one of America’s Top 100 High-Stakes Litigators. Mr. Winston is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2020 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite,” recognized by Expertise as one of the 20 Best Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys, named one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015-2017, and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida for 2015-2017 and 2019.