Dealing with water damage and flooding is stressful. In addition, understanding when your insurance policy will cover flooding or water damage and its gets even more complicated. So, when are floods covered by insurance? The short answer to this question is never. Normal homeowners insurance does not cover flooding that starts from outside your home. To have that type of coverage, one has to purchase separate flood insurance. If you are in a high risk flooding zone, you definitely need to purchase separate flood insurance.
To begin with, homeowner insurance typically covers water damage inside the home that is sudden or accidental. It doesn’t cover damage caused by negligent upkeep of the home. For instance, if you neglect your roof that is very old and it has a leak that worsens over time, the insurance company won’t cover that damage. Also, many typical homeowner policies do not cover damage caused by sewage back up either and to have that coverage you must purchase an additional coverage.
However, most basic homeowners policies will cover, for example: a leaking roof, busted water heater or pipes, ice dams, vandalism and sudden plumbing or appliance issues. They may also cover water damage that is caused by a storm, but this is where it comes down to the cause. For instance, if a tree falls on your home in the middle of a rainstorm and you then have structural damage but also water damage because there’s a hole in your roof, your insurance typically covers this.
In short, dealing with flooding and water damage is very stressful and it’s vital that you do your best to understand your homeowners policy fully. Read the fine print and talk to an agent and ask questions about what is covered and assess if you need additional flood insurance. Most water damage caused suddenly inside your home will be covered. In the event that disaster strikes, call IRS first. We have former insurance adjusters on staff and are experts in advocating for you, the homeowner. As always, we are here to help and will work directly with your insurance company to make the process go as smoothly and painlessly as possible.