Recent rain events have led to phone calls and inquiries as to when and how water damage is covered under my insurance policy. No one wants to be floating down the river while asking their agent, “Am I Covered?”
There are two different ways that water damage can be covered and it is all based on what caused the damage. Both policies are subject to deductibles and evidence of property damage.
Most standard homeowner policies will cover damage caused by interior broken pipes from dishwashers, washing machines, ice makers, bathtubs, and pipes used to circulate water within the home or business. It will cover a pipe that bursts as a result of freezing or damage to a roof that allows water to drip or seep through your attic or ceiling. If heavy rain or a hailstorm smashes your window allowing water to gain access to your home, that damage caused by wind driven rain will be covered. Your standard insurance policy will not cover rising water or seeping of water through foundation walls.
A flood is defined as a rising and/or overflow of water onto normal dry land that can cause damage to personal property. This can be caused by a natural increase of water into streams, rivers, lakes and other bodies of water that overruns their banks. Floods can be caused by a deluge of rain that rises up from hurricanes or even this past weeks’ extreme weather that overwhelms the natural seepage into the ground or engulfed city drainage pipes. There is a way to insure against such loss, it is called a Flood Insurance policy that is offered by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The policy can be purchased through your local independent agent and the rates are based upon the probability that your property could be flooded from those natural weather events.
We may not be able to prevent Mother Nature from releasing her furry but we can help protect people and businesses from financial ruin through education.
Eric Gilbert, MSM-RMI, CWCC
Moore and Johnson Agency, An Assured Partners Company