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Does my insurance cover me for flood damage?

AFTER you take care of getting the water out and cleaning up the mess, you may ask the question: “Does my insurance cover me for the damage?”
(See http://mass211.org/emergprep.html for more information about disaster relief from this storm.)

The answer, unfortunately is not a simple “yes” or “no”. It is, unfortunately, “it depends”.
(Please note that all of the following answers are generic comments and do not modify any insurance policy or coverage. You must read your own policy for exact coverage, limitation and exclusion information.)

I have a Flood Insurance policy. Am I covered for water damage?
As long as your water qualifies as a “Flood” under the U S Government backed Flood Insurance program, then we’ll start with a very qualified “yes”. Many, many properties will qualify in this storm. See “FEMA attachment”

What is covered under my Flood Policy?
Damage to the building, heating system, hot water heater. If you have elected to purchase “Contents” coverage, it will cover your personal property located in your home ABOVE the basement level of your home.

What is NOT covered under my Flood Policy?
Among other things, damage to finished walls and floors (carpeting, hardwood, tile, etc.) in the basement are not covered. Contents (personal property) located in the basement is not covered.

Does my Homeowners Policy cover for flood or water damage?
This is the most challenging question. And, the answer will be different for every insurance company and every policy. These answers are generalizations. You need to discuss your situation with your Account Manager at Aronson Insurance.

  1. There will be coverage for most direct damage done by water that gets in to your home “on the way down”. That is, if the wind ripped off of the roof or siding shingles and water poured in, you often have coverage. Some homes had water blown through the walls by high winds. However, once the water hits the ground, and then seeps in through the foundation, none of the ensuing damage is covered by standard Homeowners Policy.
  2. If you have a sump (hole in the basement floor) and a sump pump (pump in the sump hole), AND your policy has a special endorsement adding this coverage, you may have some coverage. Depending on your policy, it may be $2,000 or $5,000. It may be as high as the full policy limit for high-value home policies.
  3. If the sewer or drains backup into your home, you may have coverage. Every policy will be different.

Does my Homeowners Policy cover “Mold” damage?
Again – you guessed it – it depends. If you have a claim for damage to your property that is covered (above), you more than likely will have some ($10,000, $25,000, more?) coverage for the mold that might follow. However, if you have no coverage for the water damage to your home or contents, most policies will not cover the ensuing mold. Covered or not, you need to GET THE WATER OUT ASAP!

Download FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program Summary of Coverage.

Please call your Account manager at Aronson Insurance for assistance.