Homeowners insurance is designed to cover many of the situations that homeowners might encounter throughout their homeownership. One of the most important things that these policies cover is accidents that can happen around the house, like a water heater or pipe bursting. However, your homeowners insurance policy does not cover every type of flooding. Here’s what every homeowner should know about flooding and their insurance.
What Coverage Does Your Policy Include?
Most homeowners insurance policies are divided into two types of coverage, dwelling coverage and personal property coverage. Dwelling coverage will offset the financial burdens associated with repairing the structure of your home after damage from a variety of incidents. If a pipe in your wall bursts unexpectedly and saturates the drywall, this could be the coverage that would help pay for repairs.
The second type of coverage that most homeowners insurance policies include is personal property coverage. This part of your homeowners insurance will help you replace your personal assets in the event they are damaged. In the same scenario above, your insurance could cover the costs of replacing your laptop or books in a bookshelf by the burst pipe if they were ruined. Most policies have a deductible that must be paid before the policy will cover costs, and many policies also have coverage limits.
What Determines Whether or Not Your Homeowners Insurance Will Cover Flooding?
One of the most important distinctions in whether or not your policy will cover flooding damages is whether or not the damage was caused by something sudden and accidental or caused by poor maintenance or a natural disaster. First, you should check your homeowners insurance policy to read about any limitations or restrictions that might be included in the policy itself.
If the weather in the winter is single digits and a pipe bursts in your basement and floods the room, you could be covered by your homeowners insurance policy. However, if you did not keep your house above 55 degrees, it might not be covered, as the accident was caused by negligence. If you have unresolved maintenance issues that lead to a burst pipe or flooding, those will also not be covered by your homeowners insurance policy.
When flooding and water damage occur due to a natural disaster, flash flooding, or rain, they will not typically be covered by a homeowners insurance policy. The floodwater did not come from the pipes inside of your home, so it would be covered by special flood insurance and not your homeowners policy.
What Are the Differences Between Flood Insurance and Homeowners Insurance?
If you live in a flood-prone area, it’s a good idea to have flood insurance in addition to homeowners insurance. Homeowners insurance is essential to cover the costs related to repairing your home and replacing your belongings if a flood is caused by an accident or sudden event. However, flood insurance will make sure that you are still protected if a hurricane or flash flood occurs and your house falls victim.
Should You Add Flood Insurance to Your Homeowners Insurance?
Even if you are not located in a flood zone, the right homeowners insurance company can work with you to find a policy that will meet your needs. Your flood insurance premium can be more affordable when you bundle it with other policies through the same insurance company. Some of the biggest factors that determine how much your policy cost include:
· How many people live in the house
· How old your property is
· How many floors your house has
· What level of flood risk your house has
· The amount of coverage that you want for both your belongings and the building itself