Summer rains and hurricanes make water damage a looming possibility this time of year. But what does this mean for your insurance coverage? Where do policies begin and end? Whether you own a home or vacation rental property, there are certain measures you can take to make sure you don’t get into any wet spots.
The Covered and Not Covered
The Insurance Information Institute (III) gives this basic guideline for determining if water damage is covered or not: Water that comes from the top down is covered, while water that comes from the ground up is generally not. But what does this mean for you the homeowner?
Imagine a storm blows through your area and damages your roof, causing a leak and leaving you looking at roof repair companies. This is covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy. For those that deal with snow, this coverage would also apply to snow piled on a roof that seeped into the home.
Now, imagine a storm that lingers and dumps enough water to fill an area over a period of days. Even consistent rainfall over a weekly or monthly period can lead to this. If water begins to fill your lawn and eventually your home, this is flooding and is not covered by a standard home insurance policy.
Another water damage problem that is not covered is damage due to maintenance issues. Let’s say you have a slowly dripping drain pipe in an upstairs bathroom. After six months, the leak is still there and has seeped through as a moldy, water-logged patch on your ceiling, meaning there’s no other option but to access House Repiping. This could have been prevented, so insurance doesn’t cover fixing the leak damage. Don’t worry about sudden pipe bursts or surprise water problems from your plumbing or structure. This is covered by your policy.
Avoid Uncovered Water Damage
Regular maintenance goes a long way to prevent water damage. Make sure your roof is clear from anything that could become damp and linger against the shingles. If you don’t clear your roof, then you might find that you will have to call in a roofing company to help fix your problem (you can get more information here).
You should also make sure to clean gutters so water can flow away from the roof and your home during a storm. Check interior and exterior pipes for minor leaks and get them fixed quickly. If you require roofing and repair services, here’s a site you can visit to get information on the services available to you.
Make Sure You Have Flood Coverage
The III points out that 26% of all losses for flooding come from areas not deemed a flood zone. This brings a sharp light to the issue of flood coverage. Since it is usually not included in a standard homeowner’s policy, many overlook this vital insurance.
Traditionally, flood insurance has been a separate policy that was purchased for a minimal amount. However, some companies have recently started to provide their own private flood insurance program that you may be able to include in your standard homeowner’s policy.
A flood insurance policy usually takes thirty days to go into effect, so now is the time to act if you’re not already covered. You will need to check if sewer back-ups are covered in your homeowner’s or flood policy. If not, it can be a small add-on.
Water is a welcome sight until it becomes too much. If you are prepared and know your coverage, both you and your plants will be content in a deluge.
Want to know more about flood insurance or prepping for a hurricane? Check out our other blog posts.
- Hurricane Season is Here!
- Do You Need Flood Insurance?
- Tampa Flooding Signals Need for Flood Insurance