You have total confidence in your homeowners insurance policy, as you should. After all, it protects you against the financial consequences of many different perils. Unfortunately, it does not cover everything.
Chances are your policy probably contains exclusions, one of the biggest of which is damage caused by flood and water backups.
As reported by TMJ Channel 4, you can’t rely on FEMA stepping in to save the day. Continue reading to learn the ways you could be putting yourself and your finances at risk and how you can protect yourself against the high costs of water damage by purchasing Flood Insurance.
Types of Water Damage
Water can damage your home in many different ways. For purposes of insurance, there are four primary types of water damage: Overflow, Discharge, Backup, and Flood.
Overflow damages are caused by water that has overflowed the boundaries inside your home. The water is allowed to reach the capacity of a sink, tub, or toilet, for example, and then spill over to the floor and beyond. Fortunately, overflows are typically covered under homeowners insurance, so do not worry if you got distracted and forgot to turn off the bath faucet. It’s probably covered.
Discharged water damages are caused by water that has been released in the wrong place. This is not caused by a blockage, but rather due to a sudden and accidental complication, such as a burst pipe or a fallen tree that allows rain water to come into your home through a hole in the roof. Once again, it’s probably covered.
A backup is defined as water that is unable to properly drain into the sewer system and away from the home due to some type of blockage. Unfortunately, many of the complications that cause backups are either out of your control or otherwise difficult to detect. For example, heavy rains can overburden a storm and sewer drain system, causing water and raw sewage to flow back into your home. Likewise, invasive tree roots can grow into pipe systems, and older pipes can deteriorate and collapse on themselves.
Homeowners insurance does not typically cover water and sewage backups – even if it was caused due to a failed sump pump. However, there is an optional endorsement available to provide coverage for a water back up from your sewer or drain system. It can also cover you against or overflow or discharge caused by your sump pump or its failure.
Flooding occurs everywhere and is involved to some degree in 90 percent of all natural disasters in the U.S. Even a few inches of water can cause severe damage, with the average flood insurance claim costing $43,000. Since flooding is excluded from homeowners insurance coverage, you must purchase a separate policy specifically for flood damages.
Here at Wolfgram Insurance, we offer flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program. We recommend that everyone – including those who live outside of high-risk areas – consider flood insurance to protect themselves against an unexpected loss. One in five flood insurance claims comes from an individual who lives outside a high-risk flood zone. Even if it has never flooded at your home before, changing weather patterns, community developments, and changing topography all mean that it could flood for the first time at any time.
If you are considering flood insurance for your home, contact one of our agents as soon as possible. There is a 30-day waiting period before most policies become effective, so do not delay getting the coverage you need.
Do you currently have flood or water backup insurance protection?