Flood Insurance

Water Damage: What’s Covered and What’s Not?

Water damage situations are unique which can make it hard to decipher what type of situation is covered by a standard homeowner’s insurance policy. The biggest thing to consider when figuring out if your water damage is covered by insurance, is finding exactly what led to the water damage. For example, if the water damage was caused by the result of covered peril (or loss), then insurance will cover the water damage. For a deeper understanding, let’s run through some scenarios:

Scenario 1:

High winds during a rainstorm caused a tree to fall onto an insured’s home. The tree caused the roof to have a gapping allowing rain to enter. The rain then caused damage to the hardwood floors, a kitchen table, and a living room couch. This water damage is covered by insurance. The covered peril in this scenario is the tree. The tree that fell resulted in rain entering the home causing further damage. Insurance will then step in to cover the repair of the roof along with helping to replace the damaged hardwood floors, the kitchen table, and the living room couch.

Scenario 2:

During the course of 1 hour, an insured experienced 3 inches of rainfall in their town. The rain came in so heavy and so fast, that the drainage on their property was overwhelmed. As a result, rain entered their home through the basement causing damage to carpet and flooring. There was no back-up or failed drainage. The drainage system was simply overwhelmed by the amount of water. This is not covered by insurance. Since the drainage was overwhelmed, this is considered Flooding. Flooding is not a covered peril on any homeowner’s insurance policy. Most insured’s then ask how do they ensure they are covered for Flooding? Well, that would require a separate¬†Flood Insurance policy. As these are required policies in some areas due to low risk of flooding, they are still able to be written for extra coverage. To ensure that the next time rain in your area causes flooding, you can purchase a flood insurance policy that would allow for coverage in these situations.

If water enters your home at all, we do encourage insureds to call us and submit a claim regardless. We can then let the insurance company be the final judge on how the water has entered the home. They will then simply state, “Yes, this damage is covered” or “No, this damage is not covered.” Being denied coverage on a claim does not go against your loss record.

If you have further questions on water damage, please contact our office and we would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have! If you would like to start a flood insurance policy, we can also assist with that as well.