Most flood claims occur in homes located outside designated mapped flood zones. Flash rains, ice damming, and faulty gutters or window wells can cause a flood.
Basements add up: Even if your basement is unfinished, and you think your storage items aren’t valuable, consider the value of the equipment that makes your house run such as:
- Washer and dryer
- Water heater
- Heating, ventilating and air conditioning unit and boiler
- Water softener
Replacing and installing these items can easily cost thousands of dollars. In the meantime, you’ll need to act fast to get the water out of your home and dry the area as quickly as possible, before mold sets in. Hiring a professional to assist with cleanup is well worth it, especially if there is a clause in your policy requiring you to do everything you can to remediate the issue.
If you have a finished basement, your flood troubles just got exponentially worse. Make sure to add coverage by endorsement and set your limits high enough to cover the cost of rebuilding the entire basement — drywall, paint, flooring and furnishings. That cost is in addition to the usual household equipment mentioned above.
Don’t assume you’re safe because you live outside a flood zone
Flooding can and often does happen outside of flood zones. A flash rain, for example, dumps several inches of water in a short amount of time, saturating the ground. Once the ground can no longer absorb the water, it will travel to the lowest possible point. If your home is situated on a low part of your property or the grading runs toward your house, you’re a potential candidate for a flood.
Any water that enters your home from the outside is normally considered a flood and not sewage backup, so don’t assume that part of your policy will kick in. If an adjuster determines the water came from outside the home, your sewage backup claim will likely be denied.
Contact your insurance broker
Contact your insurance broker for a rundown of your homeowners coverage, and pay special attention to the limits and the exclusions. Also ask about what’s covered regarding flood cleanup and remediation. Set your limits high enough to protect your valuables and rebuild if it’s a worst-case scenario.