What Are Covered Under Property Damage Claims after a Flood?

The country can experience a lot of flooding due to heavy rains, storms, or other natural disasters. In such incidents, homeowners may face property damage and losses, including the destruction of personal property. When this happens, you need to understand what can be covered under your insurance policy.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Damage?

Generally, your standard homeowner’s insurance policy should cover physical damage to your home and the belongings inside caused by water. This includes flooding resulting from natural disasters like storms or excessive rain. But in most cases, it does not include damage due to flooding from rivers and lakes because a sudden and unexpected event does not cause it. If you live in these areas, purchasing separate flood insurance coverage in addition to your regular homeowners policy would be wise.

Homeowners insurance also does not pay for damage caused by lack of maintenance, floods resulting from inadequate drainage systems or sewer backups, or mold and mildew caused by poor ventilation. Additionally, it may not cover repairs to basements, walls, driveways, or sidewalks if a flood damages them.

Finally, homeowners insurance usually does not cover damages caused by earthquakes or sinkholes unless you have special coverage.

It’s worth noting, though, that you may have to pay out of pocket before getting a reimbursement, depending on the extent of the damage and your policy limits. Make sure to read the policy carefully, so you understand exactly what is covered.

It’s also important to note that certain flood-related losses may be tax-deductible, so keep all receipts related to repairs or replacement purchases if you’re eligible for a deduction.

What Are the Common Types of Losses Included in an Insurance Claim?

The following are a few of the common types of losses that may be covered under your insurance policy:

Cleanup costs

This includes pumping out water from your home, removing debris and mud, mold removal or remediation, and other necessary services. Your insurance provider can recommend a property damage restoration company to help you with your cleanup efforts. 

You may also find one on your own but ensure that the company has the experience and expertise to do the job to avoid further damage. Click here to learn more about how it works.

Repair and replacement costs

Depending on the damage extent, you may need to replace or repair items in your home, including floors, walls, furniture, rugs, electrical equipment, plumbing fixtures, appliances, and HVAC systems. Your insurance policy will also cover any losses of valuable documents due to a flood.

Additional living expenses

If you need to leave your home while repairs are being made, you may be reimbursed for hotel stays, meals, and other costs that exceed your normal monthly expenses. Your insurance provider can provide more details on this coverage.

Personal property damage claims

You will be compensated for any personal belongings damaged or destroyed due to the flood waters, such as jewelry, clothing, electronics, artwork, and books. The amount of coverage typically depends on the limits included in your policy and the type of losses incurred.

The Bottom Line

No one wants to experience water damage to their home, but with the right homeowners insurance policy, any losses can be minimized, and repairs can usually be made without too much difficulty. Make sure to read your policy carefully so you know what is covered, what kind of limits are in place, and how you should proceed if a claim needs to be filed.