Flooding is the costliest natural disaster in the U.S., according to The Pew Charitable Trusts, resulting in federal flood insurance claims of more than $1.9 billion annually. To protect their homes and businesses, most property owners rely on flood insurance. In the event of a flood, a flood insurance policy covers direct physical losses to structures and belongings.
The Differences From Homeowners Insurance
Homeowners insurance is essential for any individual who owns a home. A standard homeowner’s policy provides basic coverage that can be used to repair or replace a structure or belongings that are damaged by certain perils, such as theft or fire. Homeowners insurance can also help cover expenses if a homeowner accidentally causes damage to another person’s property or if a visitor to the home is injured. However, most standard homeowner’s policies do not cover damage caused by floods.
The Main Areas Of Coverage
A proper flood insurance policy help help to provide protection and peace of mind. When you’re searching for a policy, make sure it has the necessary areas of coverage you desire. Read on to learn more about the main areas of coverage a flood insurance policy offers:
Flood insurance typically includes two types of coverage – building coverage and contents coverage. Building coverage can help protect:
- Plumbing and electrical systems
- Water heaters and furnaces
- Stoves, refrigerators and built-in appliances like dishwashers
- Permanently installed cabinets, bookcases, and paneling
- Permanently installed carpeting
- Window blinds
- Well water tanks, fuel tanks, and solar energy equipment
Flood insurance also helps protect the physical structure of a home and its foundation. Coverage for the structure of a home typically includes items like drywall, insulation, staircases, foundation walls, and anchorage systems. A flood insurance policy may also cover a detached garage.
Electrical Systems and Plumbing
Damage to electrical systems and plumbing can result in costly repairs. Flood insurance generally covers electrical systems and plumbing that become damaged due to flooding or water damage. Insurance may provide reimbursement for repairs if possible or replacement if repairs cannot be made due to the extent of the damage.
Appliances are typically considered personal property. Most standard homeowners insurance policies will cover appliances damaged by perils like fire, wind, smoke, hail, or falling objects. However, homeowner’s policies do not generally cover damage to built-in appliances caused by flooding. Instead, flood insurance can protect built-in appliances in homes and businesses like dishwashers in the event of a flood.
When a home or business floods, water can quickly absorb into the carpeting. Flood water can contaminate carpets and create the perfect environment for mold and mildew growth. Flood insurance will generally cover permanently installed carpeting over an unfinished floor, as well as carpets laid over wooden floors. Flood insurance policies may also cover window treatments like curtains and blinds.
Flood insurance also covers the content of a home. This may include clothing, electronics, and furniture if they are not stored in a basement. Most flood insurance policies also cover certain valuables up to a certain limit, such as furs and original artwork. Flood insurance contents coverage may also include:
- Portable and window air conditioners
- Microwave ovens
- Carpets not included under building coverage
- Valuable items up to $2,500
Property, Possessions and Valuables
During a flood, home and business owners can lose their property, possessions and valuables. This may include items like computers, televisions, couches, tables, toys and similar belongings. Without flood insurance, property owners could be responsible for repairing or replacing these items. However, flood coverage will generally cover possessions and valuables up to an amount specified on the policy.
In addition to covering built-in appliances like dishwashers, most flood insurance policies will also cover portable appliances. This includes items like refrigerators, freezers (excluding walk-in models), ranges and portable and window air conditioners.
What Flood Insurance Does Not Cover
While flood insurance does cover a wide range of structures and property, it does not cover everything. It is important to understand the eligibility requirements of the policy chosen and the exclusions listed. The most common types of damage not covered by flood insurance include:
- Damage caused by mold, mildew or moisture that could have been avoided by the property owner.
- Damage caused by earth movement.
- Financial losses due to business interruption.
- Loss of access or use of the insured property.
- Additional living expenses, such as temporary housing.
- Precious metals, currency or valuable papers like stock certificates.
- Most self-propelled vehicles, such as cars.
- Property outside of an insured building, such as decks, patios, seawalls, fences, swimming pools, hot tubs, wells, trees, plants, and septic systems.
Contact JMG for Flood Insurance Coverage
In short, flood insurance covers most losses directly caused by flooding. This typically includes the structures owned and the contents inside. However, all policies are different and contain various exclusions and limits. Home and business owners should become familiar with their policy and increase their insurance limits as needed to achieve optimal protection. To learn more about what flood insurance covers or to acquire a flood insurance policy for a home or business, contact John M Glover today.