Many homeowners are concerned about the dangers of hurricanes and floods, so they may not consider buying homeowner’s flood insurance. They may think that the cost is too high or think they can’t afford it. However, flooding is an increasing problem in many parts of the country, and protecting your home from damage by water should be a high priority. You may find that your home insurance policy provides adequate coverage for flood damage, but you should also make sure that you have other types of insurance to cover the damage you may have experienced.
Homeowners flood insurance provides adequate coverage for homeowners who live in areas prone to flooding. It is also very important to note that even if you do have flood insurance, your insurance company won’t pay for flood damage under most homeowner’s insurance policies. Only the most comprehensive flood coverage plans will cover water damage resulting from overflowing lakes or ponds, overflowing sewer pipes, or leaking oil or gas tanks. If you have a small amount of flooding in your home, such as a pipe bursting, you can probably get by without purchasing this type of coverage, but you should still check with your insurance agent. Most homeowners flood coverage plans will also not cover damage resulting from damage from an earthquake or tidal wave.
Homeowner’s insurance policies will also generally cover water damage resulting from sewer backups, backed up sewage systems, or sanitary sewer backups. In most areas, your flood insurance policy will also include coverage for damage caused by septic tank issues. Some homeowners water damage insurance covers damage resulting from a burst water pipe, as well as damage resulting from clogged drains. Other coverage options for your water damage insurance policy will depend on the policy you have purchased, so it is important to read your policy carefully.
The majority of homeowners insurance policies will provide coverage for sudden and accidental water damage caused by sewer backups, overflowing sewer pipes, or other water-related problems. Sudden and accidental water damage typically means damage resulting from a fire, explosion, lightning, or any other event that causes a break in the water supply of a building or residence. Your water damage insurance will also cover damage resulting from a flood, storm, or set off by a power outage.
Accidental damage by flooding is defined differently than “sudden and unexpected.” For example, a leak in your water heater might be classified as an “accidental” event, while a burst pipe could be considered “sudden and unexpected.” Regardless, of how your coverage limits work, however, your insurance should provide you with some means of replacing or repairing your damaged property without cost to you.
Flooding is caused by a sudden rise in water levels caused by melting snow, rain, or other environmental factors. A burst pipe, for instance, can happen just about any time given a rise in population due to natural disasters, drought, or other circumstances. Regardless of the cause of a flood, your insurance should provide you with financial assistance to repair or replace property that was destroyed by water coming from a flood. If you live in an area that experiences frequent floods, your insurance may cover your expenses associated with cleaning up the contaminated soil, repairing damaged structures, and installing emergency flood control devices.
Many homeowners’ insurance policies also include additional coverage for the contents of a home. Many of these policies offer replacement value of less than the total amount of the mortgage payment if your home is flooded. This kind of coverage, however, varies greatly by company. Find out exactly what your homeowners insurance offers for this kind of coverage before purchasing it. In most cases, your homeowner’s insurance will only cover you for water damage of your dwelling itself; it will not cover your personal belongings.
It should be noted that filing a water damage claim often involves waiting several weeks or even months before the company makes a decision regarding your claim. The company will want to review all documentation and perform further investigation, and will give you a detailed estimate of how much your claim will cost. While you’re waiting, you’ll likely encounter other problems like mold growing in your home and getting into your walls. These additional expenses could push your claim to be rejected, so it’s a good idea to put as much information about your water damage claim in the report as possible.