Flood damage might not be something you think of often, but what would you do if you came home one day to four inches of standing water in your 2,000 square foot home? If it was caused by a flood, you couldn’t call your homeowners insurance to file a claim, because homeowners insurance doesn’t cover losses due to floods.
According to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a small flood as described above, could cost you nearly $40,000 for cleanup, repair, and contents replacement costs. Could you afford to pay the bill?
Continue reading to learn more about flooding and how you can better protect yourself and your home against the high costs of water damage.
Understanding Flood Insurance
It may be tempting to forego flood insurance if you live in a low-risk area that has never flooded before. However, the Insurance Information Institute recommends that everyone consider purchasing flood protection since no one is immune to damage.
There are many things that can cause first-time flooding, including dam breaks, levee breaks, changing weather patterns, local land developments, topographical changes, and more. Many homeowners are surprised by flooding every year. In fact, the NFIP reports that 20 percent of its flood insurance claims each year come from people outside high-risk areas.
Flood insurance is available for purchase through the National Flood Insurance Program. The NFIP uses flood maps to determine how much you should pay for flood insurance. If you live in a low or moderate-risk area, you may qualify for a preferred policy with low, affordable rates.
Unlike other types of property insurance, however, the coverage is not immediate. Unless you are satisfying the requirements of a new mortgage or live in an area that experienced a recent flood zone change, you will probably have to wait 30 days before your coverage becomes effective.
Contact an agent here at Van De Hey Insurance for more information and to request your NFIP quote.
Overflows and Discharges
Besides flooding, there are other hazards that can also cause water to enter your property. Some, such as overflows and discharge, may be covered under your homeowners insurance policy. Overflows and discharges are sudden events that were unforeseen. Examples include a tub or sink overflowing, or a pipe bursting.
Preventable Water Damage
Losses related to poor maintenance, neglect, or water backup damages, are likely excluded from your homeowners insurance coverage. For example, if you neglect to maintain good drainage away from your home when it rains, that is likely to cause problems down the road – leaky basements, even basement walls caving in. Losses such as this can be prevented by maintaining rain gutters and sloping the landscape away from your house. Because the loss is due to neglect, and not an accident, you will likely have to pay for damages such as these on your own.
Sewer and Water Backup
According to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, drainage problems are among the top five causes of water damage to U.S. homes. Imagine a backed-up sewer forcing waste back into your home. A raw sewage backup can destroy flooring, walls, furniture, electronics, and more. It can also create an uninhabitable environment, forcing you to find temporary shelter.
All homes are at-risk of a backup, and it can happen with little or no warning. Some of the causes include:
- Invasive tree roots growing into pipelines
- Combined sewer and storm drains that are overburdened after heavy rain
- Deteriorated clay pipelines that collapse on themselves
- Clogs caused by items that did not break down after being flushed
The damage can cost tens of thousands of dollars in repairs and cleanup. Although this type of damage is not typically covered under a standard homeowners insurance policy, you can add coverage specifically for backups in the form of an endorsement. One important thing to consider with Water Backup & Sewer endorsement often includes a waiting period of up to 30-days. Contact an agent here at Van De Hey Insurance for more information.
Do you have flood insurance and water backup protection?