Most flood claims occur in homes located outside of designated mapped flood zones. Flash rains, ice damming, and faulty gutters or window wells can all cause floods. The out-of-pocket expense can be staggering – an average of $25,000, according to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
Click here to use the flood cost estimator to see how your costs rise with each inch of standing water in your home. If the expense seems excessive, think about the contents of your basement or, if you have no basement, your first floor. Then, consider how much it would cost to have a professional come in to repair the damage. When the water rushes in, you probably have a lot more to lose than you think.
Everything in your basement adds up
Even if your basement is unfinished and you have nothing really valuable stored there, consider what else is probably living below ground level:
- Hot water heater
- Water softener
The cost to replace and install these items can easily cost thousands of dollars. In the meantime, you’ll need to act fast to get the water out of your home and dry the area as quickly as possible, before mold sets in. The cost to hire a professional to assist with cleanup is well worth it, especially if there’s a clause in your policy requiring you to do everything you can to remediate the issue.
If you have a finished basement, your flood troubles just got exponentially worse. Make sure to add coverage by endorsement and limits high enough to cover the cost to rebuild the entire basement – drywall, paint, flooring and furnishings. That cost is in addition to the usual household equipment mentioned above.
Don’t assume you’re safe because you live outside a flood zone
Flooding outside a flood zone can happen; in fact, most flood claims happen outside of flood zones. A flash rain, for example, dumps several inches of water in a short amount of time causing the ground to become saturated. Once the ground can no longer absorb the water, it’s going to travel to the lowest possible point. If your home is situated on a low part of your property or the grading runs toward your house, you’re a potential candidate for a flood.
Any water that enters your home from the outside is normally considered a flood, so you can’t assume that any part of your policy will kick in even if your particular issue doesn’t seem like a classic flooding situation.
Contact your insurance professional
Contact your insurance professional for a rundown of your homeowners coverage – get the limits and the exclusions. Also ask about what’s covered regarding flood cleanup and remediation. Make sure that your limits are high enough to protect your valuables and to rebuild if it’s a worst-case scenario.
Copyright © 2020 Applied Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.