Irma flood victim goes to war with insurance company, wins


>>>LOCAL WOMAN WHO BATTLED WITH HER INSURANCE COMPANY OVER A FLOOD CLAIM DENIED IS REVEALING TO THE I-TEAM HOW SHE FINALLY WON.>>SHE GOT IT ALL ON VIDEO WITH HURRICANE IRMA FLOODED HER HOM HURRICANE IRMA FLOODED HER HOME. BUT THE INSURANCE COMPANY INITIALLY REFUSED TO PAY. TAREK HAS INFORMATION THAT COULD HELP YOU GET YOUR MONEY IF YOU ARE IN AN INSURANCE WAR.>>WE ARE NOT REVEALING THE NAME OF THE INSURANCE COMPANY BECAUSE THE WOMAN YOU ARE ABOUT TO MEET IS STILL WAITING FOR THEM TO CUT THE CHECK. BUT SHE WANTS TO SHARE HER STORY BECAUSE IT COULD HELP OTHER FLOOD VICTIMS. AS YOU WILL SEE JUST A FEW SMALL DETAILS IN HER FLOOD INSURANCE POLICY PROVED TO BE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HER FAMILY GETTING THE MONEY TO REBUILD OR GOING BANKRUPT.>>THE YARD IS UNDER WATER.>>NOBODY THINK CATASTROPHIC FLOOD WILL HIT HERE.>>Reporter: WHEN SHE PAYS FOR THE FLOOD INSURANCE POLICY ON AUGUST 11 THIS HURRICANE NAMED IRMA WASN’T EVEN A RAIN SHOWER. BUT EXACTLY ONE MONTH LATER ON SEPTEMBER 11 ALL OF JACKSONVILLE FELT HER WRATH.>>MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT ABOUT 3:00 O’CLOCK IN THE MORNING WE STARTED HEARING THE WIND WOKE US UP. MY CAR WAS ACTUALLY FLOODED AND THE ENGINE WAS FLOODED. WE LOST THE WHOLE DOWNSTAIRS. WE LOST THREE CARS.>>Reporter: WHILE THE FLOODWATER WERE RISING INSIDE HER HOME, SHE REALIZED SHE HADN’T EVEN OPENED HER FLOOD INSURANCE POLICY. SHE WAS FLOORED TO FIND OUT THAT ACCORDING TO HER INSURANCE COMPANY SHE HAD ZERO COVERAGE ON SEPTEMBER 11.>>WE OPEN UP THE FLOOD POLICY AND IT SAYS EFFECTIVE DID IT OF SEPTEMBER 16. AND THAT’S REALLY YOUR HEART JUST FALLS IN TO THE FLOOR AND YOU REALIZE THAT NOT ONLY ARE YOU GOING TO LOSE EVERYTHING BUT YOU ARE GOING TO GO BANKRUPT. CAN’T RECOVER FROM THIS.>>Reporter: THERE’S A 30 DAY WAITING PERIOD FOR A FLOOD INSURANCE POLICY TO TAKE EFFECT SO SHE THOUGHT SHE WOULD BE COVERED. BUT RATHER THAN TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER, SHE DID EXTENSIVE RESEARCH ON HER OWN. PROVING HER INSURANCE COMPANY ACCEPTED HER PAYMENT ON AUGUST 11th BUT THE MONEY DIDN’T CLEAR UNTIL AUGUST THE 16th. DEEPER SEARCH OF FEDERAL INSURANCE LAW REVEALED THE WAITING PERIOD FOR FLOOD POLICY STARTS AS SOON AS RESIDENT SUBMITS THE PAYMENT.>>WITHDRAWAL FROM OUR BANK ACCOUNT DIDN’T OCCUR UNTIL THE 16th. SO THAT DATE MATCHES TO WHERE THAT 16th CAME FROM. AND I SUSPECT THAT SOMEBODY WHO WAS DOING THE PAPERWORK SAW THE PAYMENT COME IN ON THE 16th AND PUT THAT AS THE EFFECTIVE DATE. BUT THAT NOT THE LAW.>>Reporter: AFTER DOZENS OF PHONE CALLS AND EVEN THE THREAT OF TAKING LEGAL ACTION THE INSURANCE COMPANY AGREED TO COVER DAMAGE. SHE WANT OTHER FLOOD VICTIMS TO LEARN FROM HER MISTAKES. IF YOU ARE MOVING DON’T ALLOW ANY IF HE IS AT INSURANCE COVERAGE. SAVE YOUR COMMUNICATION BETWEEN YOUR AGENT AND INSURANCE COMPANY. READ THE POLICY FOR YOURSELF JUST AS SOON AS YOU GET IT. DON’T RELY ON SOME ONE ELSE TO READ IT FOR YOU. BE HONEST AND ORGANIZED. AND BE PREPARED TO TAKE LEGAL ACTION.>>IF YOU DON’T ASK THE QUESTIONS YOU MAY BE AT DISADVANTAGE.>>Reporter: JIMMY IS FLORIDA CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER AND HIS DEPARTMENT HELP FLORIDIANS WITH INSURANCE ISSUE AND HE SUGGEST POLICY HOLDER ALSO UNDERSTAND WHAT INSURANCE COMPANY CALL A GRACE PERIOD WHEN IT COMES TO COVERAGE I.>>INSURANCE CARRIER EVERYONE IN THAT CASE. THEY WILL CARRY A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF LIABILITY COVERAGE AND THEY WILL REALIZE THAT THERE’S GOING TO BE SOME GRACE PERIOD WHERE MAYBE SOME OF THE POLICIES CAN BE EXECUTED AND PUT IN ACTION. I’M JUST GLAD SHE FOUND A SOLUTION AND THAT IT WORK OUT FOR HER. ALSO IMPORTANT TO POINT OUT THAT FLOOD INSURANCE LAWS ARE CONSTANTLY CHANGING AND RESPONSE TO RECENT HURRICANE. FOR EXAMPLE FOLLOWING HURRICANE HARVEY FEMA EXTENDED THE AMOUNT OF TIME YOU HAVE TO RENEW THE CURRENT POLICY FROM 30 DAYS TO 120 DAYS. THAT GIVES YOU 4 MONTHS TO SUBMIT PAYMENT BEFORE YOUR POLICY EXPIRES.

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