As if Florida hasn’t experienced enough flooding after Hurricane Michael hit the panhandle, news outlets recently reported that more flooding has occurred within the state, this time in Orlando. Apparently, a water main broke in the Lake Eola Heights Historic District which resulted in major flooding in the surrounding areas [Source: Click Orlando]. The break occurred sometime around 2:20 p.m. on Monday, October 22nd on Summerlin Avenue and East Concord Street which resulted in Summerlin Avenue being closed down “indefinitely” between Concord and Amelia Streets until roadway crews were able to repave the area.
Unfortunately, the flooding was so bad that it made its way into residential areas and two vehicles were caught on Sky 6 video submerged in water. The parking lot of an apartment complex was also flooded, although the water didn’t quite make it into the building. As for the vehicles, those may be considered a total loss as the flooding was so significant that it nearly reached the top of them.
The source highlighted that the Orlando Utility Commission (OUC) “estimated that the break had caused 20 to 25 homes to experience lowered water pressure, but later changed the number to 13.” WFTV reported that a spokesperson for the OUC said that the flooding was caused by “an 80-year-old pipe below the road that burst.” While the water has since been pumped off the streets, a mucky residue remains on certain parts of the ground where the flooding occurred.
Now, given that this flood occurred so unexpectedly, it only makes individuals wonder what if something like this happened nearby to their home or their apartment was affected by a flood. That brings us to this next question many may be wondering but don’t yet have the answer to:
Does renter’s insurance cover flood damage?
While there are many people who own a single-family home or condo, there are plenty of others who still rent an apartment. Now, renter’s insurance, if you have elected to purchase it, is similar to homeowner’s insurance in that you can choose the limits you want on your policy. Of course, you may have been required to purchase a minimum amount of coverage if your landlord has stipulated this in your lease. Now, the more coverage you purchase, the more protection you have. But what about protection from floods? Is this covered?
According to Allstate, a renter’s insurance policy will generally cover water damage that stems from a “sudden or accidental discharge of water” from the following:
- Air conditioners
For example, Allstate says that if your washing machine were to break which results in water dispersing all over your apartment, your renter’s insurance should cover the loss of your personal property up to the limits you have set. However, when major flooding occurs, your policy may not be willing to cover certain damage it causes which is why you may also want to look into purchasing additional flood insurance if you want to be sure your personal belongings are insured in the event a flood occurs.
Now, aside from your insurance policy covering you for water damage, your landlord should have insurance of their own which would then cover the damage the water caused to the structure of the building. In most cases, a tenant isn’t responsible for covering water damage caused by flooding if they didn’t cause it to happen. However, if you did cause the flooding to occur and the water leaked into another tenant’s apartment, your insurance policy may be used to cover the damage that resulted from the water leak.
Because all insurance companies operate differently and under their own terms, it is important that you review your policy if your apartment in Orange County recently flooded to find out what coverage you have. And if you aren’t sure, contact an insurance agent who should be able to explain this to you. In the event you are covered for damage caused by a flood, yet your renter’s insurance company isn’t willing to reimburse you for the damage your belongings sustained, contact an Orlando, FL insurance claims attorney today who can help you resolve the problem. Sometimes, all it takes is for an insurance lawyer to step in and assist when an insurance company fails to comply with the terms they initially agreed to when you signed your lease agreement.