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Water. H2O. Aqua.
It comes in lakes and streams and downfalls and showers. You may get caught in a drizzle or step in a puddle of it. There’s rainwater, drinking water, saltwater, and purified water. Water comes in a variety of forms and is used in a variety of ways. It is essential to our health and can be an extremely destructive force of nature. We’ll let all this soak in.
Water isn’t always just water — at least not In insurance terms. How it is defined is critical in whether or not you will be covered if water damages your property.
What To Know About Flood Insurance
Understanding water and insurance starts with knowing that flooding is not automatically covered in a homeowners’ insurance policy. Flood insurance can be written through a government-sponsored insurance plan (FEMA) that can be administrated by certain insurance companies or private flood insurance may be available as an alternative to FEMA. It must be separately secured as an addition to a basic homeowners’ policy. The challenge comes when trying to determine what a “flood” involves.
It is generally accepted that a flood is a temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres and two or more properties of normally dry land. Flood damage is assumed to only be caused by the overflow of inland or tidal waters.
What Is or Isn’t Covered?
Based on the above, a leaky pipe or even a busted pipe cannot cause a flood. Backed up sewers are not a cause of a flood unless their backup is caused from an overflowing inland or tidal waters. Now, your property may be covered under a separate perils portion of your policy but it may not be considered “flooding”.
Sound confusing? We understand. Many flooding claims from hurricanes were denied because companies said the “flooding” was caused by wind, not overflowing inland or tidal waters. It can be frustrating if you are on the wrong end of the policy.
The point is to be prepared. This means asking questions BEFORE you have a claim or even before you purchase a policy. If you live in a flood zone, ask about separate flood insurance.
We can assist you in determining whether flood insurance would be advisable for your home and explain the details of what is, or isn’t covered. We will help you in making appropriate decisions for your area and your home. Give us a call for your free, no-obligation insurance review.