There are basically two insurance policies that deal with water damage-- a flood insurance policy and a homeowner?s insurance policy. Losses not covered by one of these policies may be covered by the other. Homeowners are required to carry homeowners insurance, but are not required to purchase an additional policy specifically for flood damage. Many homeowners do not purchase flood insurance unless they live in a flood-prone geographic area, but understanding what your coverage limits are may save you headaches when the raindrops start falling.
Homeowners Insurance: Your homeowner's insurance policy does not provide coverage for floods, but it does provide coverage for other types of water damage to your home such as:
1. A hailstorm smashes your window, resulting in a rainstorm in the bedroom.
2. A heavy rain soaks through the roof and drips into your ceiling.
3. A broken water pipe spews water into your home. Note that a slow leaking pipe or neglected frozen pipes might not be
covered if the homeowner has been irresponsible.?
4. Water leaks from your backyard pool into your basement
5. Dishwasher or washing machine overflows, causing a flood.
The golden rule when wondering if homeowners covers a specific water hazard is to determine if the water first hit the ground, before damaging your home. If it hit the ground first, you?re most likely not covered. ?
Flood Insurance: The dictionary defines "flood" as a rising and overflowing of a body of water onto normally dry land. Therefore, flood damage is caused by water that has been on the ground at some point before damaging your home. Here are a few examples of situations that would be covered by flood insurance, but not covered by your typical homeowner policy. ?
1. A backed up sewer that floods your basement
2. Floods caused by a nearby lake or river.
3. A heavy rain causes water to seep into your floor.
4. A flash flood causes the hill behind your house cause a mud slide in your basement.
Flood damage to your home can be insured only with a flood insurance policy -- no other insurance will cover flood damage. It is important to understand that even these types of situations, your possessions (furniture, clothes, etc.) would be covered by homeowners, even if the flood damage itself is not.