Nobody expects water to enter their home, but for millions of people every year, it does exactly that. No one is immune, even those who have never experienced flooding near their homes in the past.
According to the National Flood Insurance Program, 1 in 5 flood insurance damage claims occur in households that exist outside normal flood boundaries. Unfortunately, the average cost of flood claims in 2015 was an astounding $43,000 – not pocket change.
If you do not have flood insurance, continue reading to find out how to better protect yourself and your home against water damage.
Types of Water Damage
There are many types of water damage. Some, such as damage caused by an overflowed bathtub or a leaking pipe, are likely covered under the overflow and discharge coverage on your homeowners policy. Others, however, are excluded. Examples include:
Water backup occurs when a blockage prevents water from draining properly, resulting in a backup into your home. This could occur due to tree roots that have grown into your pipelines, a collapsed pipeline, or even as a result of a shared sewage and storm drainage system that over-fills in wet weather. When the water backs up into your home, it can cause severe damage, as well as mold accumulation. If not quickly remediated, it could also increase the risk of illness and disease.
Although water backup damages are not typically covered under standard homeowners insurance coverage, it can be added to your policy as an endorsement. Talk to your independent agent here at Pagel & Associates to determine if adding water backup to your policy is right for you.
Flooding occurs when water rises into your home. This could occur when a body of water overflows its banks or if heavy rainfall results in rapid accumulation of surface water. Unfortunately, flooding is not covered under homeowners insurance. However, you can purchase a stand-alone flood insurance policy through the National Flood Insurance Program.
Even if you live in an area that has never flooded before, flood insurance can be an affordable way to protect your most valuable possessions in case of unexpected damages. You can find out more about your risk factors for flooding by visiting Fema.gov.
We here at Pagel & Associates Insurance can assist you with the purchase of flood insurance, but we recommend doing so sooner rather than later. Flood insurance has a 30-day waiting period before coverage becomes effective.
Should You Purchase Extra Coverage for Flooding and Water Backup?
Before you make a decision about flood and water damage insurance, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you live in a high-risk area or flood plain?
- Does your mortgage lender require you to carry flood insurance?
- Could your home flood if a nearby river or other body of water overflowed its banks?
- Could you afford to remediate flood damage, repair your home, and replace your belongings out of pocket?
You never know if you will need flood or water backup insurance until the time comes to file a claim. Unfortunately, that is when it will be too late.
Relying on emergency federal assistance is not a good idea either, since any available assistance after a flood typically has to be repaid as a loan with interest.
Purchasing flood insurance and a water backup endorsement can give you peace of mind that you are covered against major water-related losses. As always, your independent agent here at Pagel & Associates Insurance Agency can help you weigh your options and make the decision that is right for you.
Have you ever known someone who experienced major water damage to their home? Did they have insurance to help cover the cost?