It is almost the middle of October, and the Hurricane Season does not end until next Month. We have had the most active hurricane season since 2005 with 4 hurricanes hitting the mainland of the US. What does all of this mean for the insurance buying public? It means it is time to have a FULL understanding of the policy limitations on your regular home insurance policy or property insurance coverage for flood damage.
It is really quite simple. There is NO COVERAGE FOR ANY SURFACE WATER OR WATER BELOW THE SUFACE OF THE GROUND. Pretty simply, right? THERE IS NO COVERAGE.
A flood is defined as the overflow of a body of water or the collection of a body of water that affects you and the adjacent property. The “overflow” issue is simple. This is when the Schuylkill River, ocean, bay, or any waterway comes out of its banks and inundates your property. The collection of a body of water means that the street floods and the water pours into your home. This can occur because leaves block the storm sewer or snow causes problems. IN either event, THERE IS NO COVERAGE FOR DAMAGE FROM SURFACE WATER. Simple, right?
Your home policy or property coverage NEVER covers this exposure. So what are you to do? Flood Insurance is one option, but is has many, many limitations. Flood Insurance protects you in the event of the overflow of a body of water, but it never covers your contents in the basement. It does not cover your separate garage or the contents located in the garage. It NEVER covers the collection of a body of water that is ONLY on your property. Simple, right? Of course not. This “flood insurance” is a challenging government program with a confusing contract, separate deductibles for the house and contents and it is CRAZY expensive.
It is vital that you understand the risks involved with flooding. 30% of flood claims result in areas that are not in “flood zones.” Talk with your insurance professional to better understand your options and the specific policy limitations. Don’t have an insurance professional? Call us at 610-933-4950.