As residents of Missouri, we know all too well the extent to which flooding can damage property. In the spring of 2011, billions of dollars in damages were incurred after record snowmelt, severe weather, and flash flooding destroyed many homes and businesses. It was a flood like few had ever experienced before, and it could happen again. Of course, it does not take a flood of this size and scope to cause serious damage. Smaller floods – the kind that leaves just a few inches of water in your home – can cost tens of thousands of dollars in repair and cleanup costs. Would you be prepared for such an event?
How to Protect Your Home against Flooding
You may not be able to stop water from coming into your home, but there are steps you can take to ensure you do not suffer a major financial loss in such a scenario. Your homeowners insurance will not cover you for flooding. However, you can get flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program, or NFIP.
NFIP coverage exists to protect homeowners and renters from the exorbitant costs of flooding. You can purchase coverage for your home and its contents or just for your personal belongings if you are renting. The price you pay for coverage will be largely dependent upon your risk of future floods.
NFIP uses FEMA flood maps to determine if you live in a high-risk area. Those in low to moderate-risk areas often qualify for preferred policies at affordable rates that pale in comparison to the cost of flood damage remediation.
According to the NFIP, the average flood insurance premium in the U.S. is just $700 per year (though it can be much lower than that). Compare that to the average 2015 flood insurance claim — $43,000 – and choosing to protect your home against flood damage seems like an easy choice. The coverage has a 30-day waiting period before it becomes effective, though, so do not wait to contact our office about flood insurance coverage.
Other Water Damage Protection
Having homeowners insurance and flood insurance may still not be enough to fully protect you against water damage in your home. Besides flooding, water can also creep into your house through faulty appliances, burst pipes, overflows, and accidents that result in the sudden discharge of water.
Your homeowners insurance typically covers events such as burst pipes and overflows, so long as they are not the result of poor home maintenance or neglect. However, there is one type of water damage that is usually excluded from home insurance coverage: sewer and water backup.
The drainage lines that carry waste away from your home and into the main sewer line can sometimes become clogged or damaged. This can occur as a result of materials that do not properly break down in the drain line, invasive tree roots that grow into your pipelines, or even a deteriorated pipeline that has begun to erode or collapse.
A blocked sewer line can cause raw sewage to backup into your home, causing damage to your house and personal belongings. Fortunately, you can protect yourself against this type of loss is by contacting an agent at our office about adding a sewer and water backup endorsement to your insurance policy.
Do you have coverage for floods and backups?