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Flood Damaged Home: What Is Covered?

Will My Homeowner’s Insurance Cover the Damage to My Flooded Home?

water damage cleanup redmondWith spring comes the snowmelt, storms, and the threat of flooding. Every few years, Redmond and other nearby areas experience some heavy rains which trigger minor flooding, and in turn cause some damage to local homes and businesses. At Pioneer Restoration, our customers often ask us if the water damage to their home is going to be covered by their homeowner’s insurance policy and the truth is, that is a question best answered by your insurance agent or by carefully reading through your policy.

However, we can offer some basic information based on research from the Insurance Information Institute, and our own experience, on what the average homeowner’s insurance policy does and does not cover.

Your policy likely will cover….

  • Any damage caused by something like a burst pipe inside your home or a ruptured water heater.
  • Damage caused by a malfunctioning appliance – like an on-the-fritz dishwasher that floods the kitchen while you’re out for the day. Your insurance policy will probably be there for you to cover the cost of repairing the damage; you might need to foot the bill for the new appliance. Most policies won’t cover the cost of replacing the source of the problem.

Your policy likely will not cover…

  • Flood water damage from a storm, overflowing lake or river, snowmelt, or over-saturated ground. Flood damage is not covered in regular homeowner’s insurance policies, which is why it can be a good idea to carry separate flood insurance if your home sits in a flood plain or high risk area. This type of insurance can be purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program.
  • A lack of proper maintenance within your home to prevent water damage. For example, if you knowingly allow a pipe beneath the kitchen sink to leak for months and months without fixing the problem, your policy may not foot the bill for the repairs. Chances are if you’ve waited this long, the damage is pretty extensive as well and you’re not only looking at water damage, you’re looking at mold growth which will be another hurdle to cross – and many homeowner’s insurance policies don’t cover mold removal either. But getting back on track here, your policy simply probably will not cover unresolved maintenance issues.
  • Sewage water/backup. Basically, if there is a sewage backup into your home from an outside drain or sewer, your policy probably won’t cover it.

The GOOD news!

Okay, it probably sounds like there is a lot that won’t be covered. However, we want to emphasize again that we are only able to speak on a broad level and based on our experience with other Pioneer Restoration customers. If a flood damage incident does occur contact a professional water damage restoration company, like Pioneer, ASAP. Calling the restoration company as soon as the damage occurs can help negate any damage that can because by standing water or mold growth. Most restoration companies will also work with your insurance company to provide the best coverage possible.

Please, if you have concerns about your policy, set up a meeting with your agent to go over any specific coverage questions you may have. They can walk you through, line-by-line if necessary, what is and what is not covered in your policy to offer you some peace of mind.