With the effects of El Niño in full swing, homeowners are becoming increasingly aware of the potential damage flooding can do to a home. Recent news clips feature homeowners standing in their living rooms up to their ankles in muddy water. So, it’s no wonder people are asking me what they need to do to protect themselves from a huge flood loss.
The first thing to note: A typical homeowners policy does not include flood coverage. While they cover water damage from a broken pipe, it does not cover damage caused by “an overflow of inland or tidal waters, unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source, or mudflow” (1). Essentially, any flooding from the outside is not covered by homeowners insurance, unless it’s caused by a covered loss, such as wind. The only sure way to safeguard your home from a flood caused by El Niño is to purchase flood insurance.
Not surprisingly, we’ve seen a big uptick in flood insurance inquiries and policies written in the last couple months. It’s important to add flood insurance before you need it because there is a 30-day waiting period after the insurance provider receives your flood insurance application and payment. Therefore, check your current policies before we get deeper into rainy season.
Those with homes in a designated flood zone should be especially wary of the potential damage that can occur. Not sure if you’re in a flood zone? Find out here. Aside from purchasing flood insurance, if you’re looking for more ways to protect your home from flood damage, consider these tips.
As with all insurance, focusing on prevention instead of dealing with losses after the fact is key. Flood victims face months of exhausting repairs or rebuilding and the right coverage eases some of the pain. While we can’t control the whims of El Niño, we can be prepared for the next storm. Contact your broker today to make sure you have flood insurance or let us review your policy.
(1) Sandi Kruise Insurance Training