Spring may bring rain showers, but occasionally those showers resemble more of a deluge that results in flooding. This past weekend, Tennessee and Kentucky were drenched with 7 inches of rain in just 48 hours. For Nashville, this was the second-highest two-day total ever, after the historic May 2010 floods. Floods are the number one disaster in the United States and water is one of the biggest threats to a homeowner. With that in mind, it’s important to understand if your insurance protects you in the event of a flood.
The first thing you need to know is that flood insurance is not part of your home or business insurance. It must be purchased separately.
The next thing to understand is that insurance companies define a flood based on FEMA’s official definition. A flood is “A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land area or of two or more properties (at least one of which is your property).” Torrential rainfall isn’t the only culprit. Flooding is also caused by mudflows, rapid snowmelt during spring and ice jams during winter.
And the most important thing to know is that even an inch of water can cause thousands of dollars in damage. It can be a shock to the system when the insured discovers flood losses are specifically excluded from homeowners and personal umbrella policies.
Here are some of the most common questions we get when it comes to water and the homeowner:
If I have rising water damage from a rainstorm, that enters my property am I covered? No, a separate flood policy is needed to covers losses to your property caused by flooding. As long as your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), you’re eligible to purchase flood insurance. We can assist you in determining if your community participates in the NFIP. And the Flood zone your property is located, Levels of coverage, deductible options and annual cost/s.
If my sump pump fails due to water backing up through the sewers, am I covered? No, but you can easily add a sewer and backup endorsement to your homeowners policy to cover the loss, at a level of coverage to meet your needs or concerns.
How can I be sure I have the right coverage? A complete review of your policy is the only way to determine what property is covered and what perils are insured against. We can help you identify your risks and explain what’s included in a homeowners insurance policy, including the standard limits of coverage on property insured such as money, watercraft, theft of jewelry, silverware and guns.
The time for a policy review is BEFORE the coverage is needed. Give us a call and we can do a policy check to make sure you have proper coverage.