Understanding Your Flood Coverage
Navigating the details of your homeowners policy can be confusing, especially when you are going through the stressful experience of enduring a basement flood in your home in Bountiful, UT. Understanding the general rules behind standard property coverage can help you know the right questions to ask your provider and assist with filing your claim. You can plan more easily for repairs when you know what is and is not covered.
Flood Coverage: What Does and Doesn't Cover
What Standard Insurance Doesn't Cover
There are many types of policies you can purchase beyond a standard homeowners policy. It may be fruitful to do so, particularly if your area is prone to flooding. While some water damage is covered, there are several types of problems that you probably have to pay for out of pocket:
- Remediation of water damage that occurs due to unresolved maintenance issues
- Repairs of the source of the water damage
- Storm flooding
- Water backup from a clogged municipal drain
- Sewer backup
You may be able to purchase supplemental insurance coverage for some of these issues. For example, a flood policy is a smart idea if you live in a flood plain, because you are likely to experience the occasional basement flood even if you are vigilant about protecting your home. A water backup policy protects you from having to pay the cost of city plumbing issues that are outside your control. Your insurance agent can assess your individual case and recommend policies that cover your specific needs.
What Your Homeowners Policy Does Cover
A flooded basement can be caused by many different situations. There are two key factors that typically determine whether your homeowners policy will cover the cost of water damage mitigation services. Did the problem occur suddenly? For example, if a pipe bursts, it can cause a lot of damage in a short amount of time. Second, was the inciting incident an accident? If, despite your best efforts, a flood still occurs, your policy is likely to cover the cost of repairing the damage.
If the incident is a covered peril, you may be entitled to two types of coverage. Dwelling coverage takes care of the cost of repairing the structure itself. You may have to replace walls, insulation, carpet, or ceiling materials. Then the affected parts of your home must be rebuilt. This process is probably covered by your policy. Additionally, if any of your personal belongings were damaged by the covered peril, it is likely that you can be compensated for the cost of repairing or replacing them. Documenting the damage with pictures or video and providing the estimate from the mitigation company can support your claim and increase the chances that it will be approved.
It's never too early to learn exactly what your insurance coverage entails. Don't wait until a basement flood occurs to figure out whether your homeowners policy will pay for the damage. Go over the details with your insurance agent, and purchase any additional coverage you need. Understanding your policy helps you make an informed decision so that you can protect your home and everything in it.