Flood Insurance vs Water Damage
Some would say that the weather has been the worst they have seen in years. It can be alarming to turn on the news and hear about cities being flooded and homes being destroyed by heavy rain and tropical storms. As a homeowner, it is important to understand what is covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy. For example, do you know the difference between water damage and flood damage? Does your policy cover you in the event of water or flood damage? Water damage insurance and flood insurance are two different things and you don’t want to find yourself being denied a claim because you were not aware of the difference.
Water damage is defined as the damage of property by the sudden or accidental intrusion of water. Water damage is typically covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy except in the case of the owner’s failure to maintain the home. For example, if pipes burst or the roof has hail damage and heavy rains cause leaks, your homeowner’s insurance policy will typically cover the cost of repairs because these are sudden and accidental occurrences. However, water damage caused by poor maintenance or negligence on the part of the homeowner will not be covered. It is important when obtaining a new policy or renewing an existing policy to take the time to visit with your agent to get a good understanding of what types of water damage will be covered under your policy.
A flood is defined as the overflowing of water on dry land. Flood insurance policies cover any structural damage to your home as well as the contents within it in the event of a flood. It is important to note that a flood insurance policy will be a separate policy from your existing homeowner’s insurance. Flood insurance policies are written through NFIP (Nation Flood Insurance Program), which is governed by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency). It is a good idea when purchasing a home to verify whether or not your home is in a flood zone. If your home is in a flood zone, your lender will require you to have flood insurance. If you are not in a flood zone, you may think you are safe, but the unexpected can happen to anyone, so it is always better to ask your insurance agent to give you a quote for flood insurance during your annual review.
Written by: Peggy Foist