Interpreting Your Homeowners or Business Insurance Policy
On May 19th, 2020, the Edenville Dam collapsed, causing an unprecedented flooding event and uprooting at least 10,000 Midland County residents from their homes and businesses. That same afternoon, flooding caused the Sanford Dam to collapse as well, extending the damage to local properties even further.
If you live in Sanford, Edenville, Midland, or Gladwin, you may be looking at substantial property damage from the flood – and wondering how you will pay for the costs of repairs, restoration, and even relocation in some cases. While you may expect that your homeowners, renters, or business insurance policy will account for all types of water damage, the unfortunate truth is that many of these policies have exclusions for floods.
However, this does not necessarily mean that you have no insurance coverage. Every insurance policy is different, and while most insurance policies explicitly exclude all types of water damage caused by a flood, others many only refuse to cover those classified as “natural disasters.” That means flood damage from a man-made disaster like a dam failure may, in fact, be covered. You are also more likely to be covered if you purchased a separate flood insurance policy in addition to your core insurance policy.
Other Alternatives to Insurance Claims
If you’re dealing with water damage from the Edenville and Sanford dam failures, it’s crucial that you contact an experienced attorney right away to review your insurance policy for your home or business. There may be other terms in your policy that could allow you to file a claim, and even if your policy excludes flood damage, you can still apply for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) relief funds.
It’s also worthwhile to consider filing a dam failure lawsuit against the dam operators or state regulators who should have prevented this tragic incident from happening in the first place. According to a recent survey by the American Society of Civil Engineers, many of Michigan’s dams are considered to be in disrepair or hazardous states – and at Edenville Dam, regulators had repeatedly warned the owner Boyce Hydro Power LLC to comply with basic safety regulations. While the cause of the recent dam failures is still being investigated by a third party, Michigan homeowners and business owners may have grounds to sue Boyce Hydro for negligence.
At Grewal Law PLLC, our full-service Michigan law firm is here to help those affected by the Midland County dam failures. Call (888) 211-5798 today to schedule a FREE consultation with our legal team.