As a homeowner, you go to great strides to ensure your property is protected against anything that may come your way. Your homeowners insurance is perhaps the greatest tool you have against the hazards that threaten your home, but it is does not cover everything. In fact, there are some major exclusions in most insurance policies that could leave you vulnerable to risks. Continue reading to learn about the destruction water can cause to your home and why you may need special coverage to protect you from it.
The Cost of Water Damage
Water may seem harmless enough, but it can cause major damage to your home. In fact, it only takes a few inches of water to wipe out years of household savings. According to the National Flood Insurance Program, 2 inches of water in a 2,000 square-foot home can cause more than $20,000 in damages. For those without the right coverage, the only option is to pay for the damages out of pocket, and usually very quickly. Water and moisture left behind walls and under flooring can facilitate an environment for mold and make your home uninhabitable
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover It?
While homeowners insurance typically provides some limited coverage for water damages, it is usually restricted to certain types of sudden and accidental damage. This includes coverage for overflows and water discharge, such as an overflowing bathtub or a burst water pipe. While you are responsible for your deductible, insurance is likely to pay for repairs to flooring, cabinetry, walls, and any personal belongings destroyed by water damage up to the limitations of your policy.
Other water-related losses – specifically flooding and water backup – are usually excluded from coverage. Fortunately, we here at Smart Move Insurance can help you obtain coverage that will reimburse you for flood and backup damages.
Even here in Arizona – one of the driest states in the nation – the risk of flooding is very real. According to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), the average flood insurance claim costs upwards of $43,000 in 2015. Of those who filed claims, one in five lived outside of high-risk flood areas. That means that anyone – including homeowners in areas with no history of flooding – could be at risk. The Insurance Information Institute recommends that everyone consider flood insurance, regardless of risk.
At Smart Move Insurance, we offer flood insurance through the NFIP. While there is a 30-day waiting period before coverage becomes effective, an NFIP policy can provide coverage for both the structure of your home and your personal belongings. Premiums are calculated based on the value of your coverage and your risk of flood. You can find out more about your regional flood risk by visiting the FEMA Flood Map Service Center.
Sewer and Water Backup
The drains in your home lead to pipes that carry waste away from your property. If something prevents proper drainage, it can result in a backup of water and raw sewage into your home. Many things can cause a backup, from clogs and blockages to overburdened sewer and storm drainage systems. Like flooding, the damage from a backup can be extensive and costly. To make matters worse, the risk of such an event is rather high. The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety reports that drain system failures are among the top five causes of water-related losses in the U.S.
Though sewer and backup damages are not covered under most homeowners insurance policies, there is a simple solution that can mitigate your risks. Contact an agent here at Smart Move Insurance to add an endorsement to your policy that shields you against the expense of a sewer line backup.
Have you ever experienced a water-related loss?