Does My Homeowners Insurance Policy Cover Flood Damage?

July 29, 2019

If a bad storm hits your area and your home is impacted with damange and flooding, it can be a devastating time. The last thing you want to happen is realize that you do not have the proper coverage to repair and replace your items. Get your research and preparation done ahead of time to prevent this scenario from occuring.

To help you get ahead with your research, keep reading to find out what coverages and types of insurance you will need in the event of a catastrophic storm that causes both flooding, wind and debris damage.

1. Types of Policies

Before we get into what your home insurance will and will not cover, its best you familiarized yourself with the different types of coverage. The two main coverages are Dwelling Coverage and Personal Property Coverage.

Dwelling Coverage

Dwelling coverage takes care of any structural damage that is done to your home. Imagine turning your home upside-down, anything that stays in place is considered to be part of your Dwelling. For instance, if rainwater were to rush in through a crack somewhere and cause considerable water damage to one of your walls, your dwelling coverage would kick into place.

Personal Property Coverage

Personal property coverage takes care of your belongings if they were to become damaged. Using the same scenario of turning your home upside-down, anything that falls would be considered your Personal Property. So, if that rainwater we were talking before managed to cover your bookcase and destroy all the content on it, your personal property coverage could replace it.

2. When Do Policies Cover Water Damage

Your standard homeowners’ insurance will cover the water damage if it was sudden and internal. Here are a few examples of what is covered:

  • Snow or rainstorm
  • Water damage from a fire extinguisher
  • Plumbing damage such as burst pipes, faulty plumbing, frozen plumbing, or accidental overflow
  • A leaking roof
  • Accidental overhead from an appliance like a washing machine or toilet
  • Vandalism
  • Mold (as long as it’s from water damage)

This is just about everything your basic insurance will handle. Next, we’re going to go over all the things that it won’t take care of.

3. When Does it Not Cover Water Damage

Unless the water damage is caused by a sudden, unexpected occurrence, your basic homeowners’ insurance probably isn’t going to cover it. Most of these situations are if the damage was caused due to your own negligence.

Unresolved Maintenance Issues

Homeowners’ insurance will cover you if your toilet suddenly breaks and causes water damage to your floor. If it turns out that the problem happened because of some continuous leaking from an unresolved maintenance issue then it will not cover it.

Replacement of the Source of Water Damage

Most insurance companies will cover tearing out your water damaged floor and replacing it with a new one. It won’t cover the broken toilet that caused the damage in the first place though.

Backup From a Sewage Drain

Most traditional homeowners policies won’t cover you if sewage happens to back up through your pipes and leak into your home. If you are worried about this happening or simply want to be prepared for everything though, most companies have separate water backup coverage you can buy.

Mold

There is a bit of a gray area with mold. Sometimes it can get covered and sometimes it can’t. If it is caused by a common occurrence such as a burst pipe or appliance overflow then you’re fine.

If it’s caused by lack of cleaning or maintenance then you won’t get so lucky. For example, if it’s caused by a pipe that’s been leaking for months but you neglected to have it fixed then insurance isn’t going to cover it. If it’s growing in a damp, humid place such as your laundry room then again, insurance isn’t going to cover it.

If the mold came from a flood that infected your home, then homeowners’ insurance can’t do anything to help you.

4. Will it Cover a Flood?

Now for the big question. Will homeowners’ insurance cover a flood? The easy answer is no.

While you can get coverage in the event rainwater seeps into your home, if your house floods due to a storm or because a body of water nearby flooded there is nothing your insurance company will be able to do. This is especially true if you live in a high-risk area.

To get coverage for this you’ll need to get flood insurance through a separate program.

4. Flood Vs. Water Damage

Now you may be thinking “water damage is water damage. What does it matter if it comes from a flood or rainstorm?” But, there is a difference. Knowing this difference will allow you to be aware if you’ll be able to get coverage or not.

It’s classified as a flood if two or more acres of land that are normally dry get submerged under water. Again, it usually occurs when lakes overflow or a natural disaster such as a tidal wave were to occur. Flooding = Rising Waters.

Regular old water damage is unique in that the source typically goes straight into your home. The water doesn’t make contact with the ground first. It’s normally caused by rain coming in or a pipe bursting.

Is There Flood Damage Homeowners’ Insurance Will Cover or Do You Need a Separate Policy?

In most cases, your Homeowners Insurance will NOT cover flood damage. You will need to obtain a separate flood insurance policy either through the NFIP or from the Private Market. Here is the exception: HH Insurance works with a couple of different insurance carriers that can endorse flood coverage onto a homeowners policy, but this is not standard and it is an additional cost.

We hope this article has helped you figure things out and decide if getting flood insurance is something you should do. Don’t let your things stay drenched.

Ready to get started with your flood insurance policy? Contact us to get a quote.