You don’t think floods or water damage will happen to you do you? Well, floods are the #1 natural disaster in the United States, and mostly occur in the spring and summer seasons. From 2003 to 2012, the total number of flood insurance claims totaled more than $4 billion per year. Doesn’t sound too pleasant does it?
It’s not pleasant, especially since flooding isn’t covered under the typical homeowners and business insurance policies. Water damage, on the other hand, is covered by a standard homeowners and business insurance policy. The unfortunate part of this matter is that most people cannot clearly distinguish between a flooding and water damage. Below we explain the difference in each.
What is classified as flooding?
Flooding doesn’t have to be you sitting on top of your roof because your entire house is submerged in water like most think. A flood is when external water rises onto your land, and can come from; a tsunami, overflowing river, mudslide, or- heavy rain (this usually causes flash flooding), which occurs very often in the spring and summer time. This type of damage is not covered by a standard homeowners insurance, and would require you to get flood insurance.
What is classified as water damage?
Water damage, on the other hand, is water hitting your home before even touching the outside ground and is usually covered by homeowners insurance. Things such as a leaking roof, busted pipe, or faulty sump pump could qualify, depending on your homeowner’s insurance policy. Things such as mold, may or may not be covered by your homeowners insurance. It all depends on whether or not it was caused by a flood, or water damage.
Ways to prepare for a flood
Even before the threat of flooding becomes visible, all homeowners and businesses should;
- Think about purchasing a flood insurance policy if they do not have one at the moment
- Review your insurance policy and make sure the limits will cover your building, home, and personal belongings
- Make an emergency kit, plan routes to evacuate if possible, and keep important documents in a waterproof place
- Itemize and take pictures of possessions for insurance claim purposes
Ways to prevent water damage
Water damage is usually covered in your homeowners’ policy, however, here are a few ways to prevent it from happening in the first place.
- Clean out roof gutters. This ensures good drainage since a clogged gutter will send water down the side of your house. This will damage the foundation and siding.
- Never pour grease down your sink. This can cause the grease to cling to your pipes and cause serious damage and blockage.
- Check for water leaks. Persistent leaks can lead to many things including; rotting, mildew, and mold. This will prevent further damage done to your home.
- Keep an eye on your water bill. There are so many water pipes hidden in the walls and in the floor of your house, so you may not notice its a leak until serious damage has been done. Therefore, if you keep an eye on your water bill, and you notice that it’s creeping up, or uncommonly high, there’s a good chance you have a leak.
Since the line between flooding and water damage isn’t so clear sometimes, it’s best to talk to your insurer after an incident and weigh your options.
If you would like to know more about purchasing a flood insurance policy, tips for staying safe in worst case scenarios, or find out whether or not your insurance policy is enough to cover water damage for your belongings, please feel free to give us a call at 217-345-7063.