Flooding and water damage can easily spread throughout a home. The inflow of water might cause structural damage, contamination and personal property loss to your home.
Often, homeowners assume that their home insurance policy will cover flood damages. However, they may be in for a rude surprise. Standard home policies frequently do not cover risks and damages associated with flooding.
Why Does Home Insurance Not Cover Flooding?
Only in very limited circumstances will standard home insurance cover flood damage. If a pipe bursts and causes a flood, the homeowners insurance may cover the damage. Nonetheless, use scrutiny when choosing policies. Some still might not cover flooding damage from burst pipes. And many more will not cover pipe floods that result from slow leaks or neglected pipes.
Additionally, standard home insurance policies will almost never cover environmental floods. For example, if a river overruns and floods the home, a home policy likely will not provide coverage.
To get coverage for these types of floods, you often have to buy a specialized flood policy. A variety of companies offer flood insurance, as mandated by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The NFIP helps establish regulations and backing for the flood insurance market.
Before you move into a home (or build one), you should obtain a map of local flood zones. These maps can help you deduce the flood risks at your location. They may also help you determine how much flood insurance coverage you need. If a severe flood risk exists, you might decide it best not to build on that property altogether.
Structural Modifications May Reduce Flood Risks
After you've determined the flood risks you face, you'll want to take steps to brace your home from those risks. Home improvement and structural modifications may help stem the tide of flood waters.
- Maintaining strong seals around roofs, foundations, basements, doors and windows can keep water out. But pay close attention to your basement and foundation. Flood insurance may not cover water damage to the basement.
- Routinely check your water pipes. Even if your home insurance covers burst pipes, you still want to avoid damage. Fix small problems expediently.
- On flood-prone property, consider using reinforced building techniques on your home. Some homeowners use raised flooring or even stilts to allow flood waters to pass under the home. You may also consider retaining walls or other man-made dams to help stem water flows.
In the event that a flood is imminent, take steps to create temporary flood diversions around your property. Doing so may help prevent damages.
Need flood coverage? Call Fulton Agency, Inc. at (954) 752-8610 for a fast, free Florida flood insurance quote.