It does not take much water to cause thousands of dollars in damage to a home. From your flooring and walls to your personal belongings, the costs can add up quickly. Worse still, without the right insurance protection, you could be stuck paying the bill. Did you know there are several types of water damage, and your homeowners insurance only covers some of them? Do you know which ones? Continue reading to find out more about insuring yourself against flood and water damage.
Your homeowners insurance likely contains coverage for water damages stemming from overflow and discharge. That means you can rest easy knowing you are probably covered if your upstairs bathtub overflows, leaking into the living space below. Likewise, discharged water is typically covered when it leaks in a space it is not supposed to. Examples include leaky pipes behind your walls or a hole in your roof that allows rainwater to seep in.
Have you ever experienced raw sewage backed up into your home? When storm and sewer drainage systems become overburdened, it could result in a very messy and expensive situation. According to the Insurance Information Institute, clean-up can cost thousands of dollars to sanitize plumbing systems, replace damaged wallboards and coverings, clean the ductwork, replace wet carpets, disinfect, and remove the spillage. Unfortunately, backups are not covered under standard homeowners insurance, nor are they covered under flood insurance. Instead, you must purchase this type of coverage as a separate endorsement to your homeowners insurance policy.
Insurers consider flooding to be an accumulation of surface water that rises from the ground over the foundation of your home. It can occur as a result of torrential rains or a body of water that has breached its banks. Flooding can cost tens of thousands of dollars in damage, and none of it is covered under a standard homeowners insurance policy. Instead, coverage must be purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program.
FEMA uses flood maps to determine how much you should pay for coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program. Those same flood maps are used by municipalities to help plan communities, as well as by lenders to determine if a homeowner should be required to purchase flood insurance.
If you live outside of a high-risk area and think you are safe, think again. Approximately 20 percent of flood insurance claims are made by people outside of ‘high-risk’ areas. This is often due to changing weather patterns, community developments, or a changing environment that can all cause flooding where there was none before. These animated flood risk scenarios make it easy to identify your potential risks of flooding.
Keep in mind that you can only purchase flood insurance through an agent, and there is a 30-day waiting period before flood insurance goes into effect, although there are some exceptions. Examples include cases where flood insurance is required for a mortgage loan, as well as for homeowners who purchase flood insurance within 13 months of a floodplain map change. Give our team a call today for more information and to find out if flood insurance could be right for you.