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Home insurance is not complete without flood insurance

Homeowners often think because they have a comprehensive homeowner's insurance policy, that it covers them for flood. Comprehensive policies are among the most expensive policies; however, they give a great range of coverage. They cover water damage as well as fire, theft, and even vandalism. Usually they pay the replacement value. Nevertheless, you should be aware, insurance companies define water damages and flood damages as two different things. Moreover, they are not covered by standard policies.

Water damages come from things like storms that are so violent they damage a portion of the roof allowing water through the roof or wall into a room or attic. It covers driving wind and rain that breaks a window causing water damage to a room. It covers a burst pipe provided you are not negligent in the upkeep of the plumbing. Or, in the case of a frozen pipe bursting, you are covered as long as you did not leave the house unattended for a period of time, without taking preventative measures, such as draining the pipes. Water damage caused by an appliance failure usually covers parts of the house and furniture but not the appliance. If failure of the appliance is the result of poor maintenance, coverage may be denied.

Comprehensive insurance does not cover damages from rains that are so heavy that water seeps into your basement. Seepage is considered a maintenance problem. You can buy additional riders to cover failure of sump pumps to protect against seepage damages. Flood insurance does not cover seepage unless the seepage is the direct result of floodwaters. Floodwaters can be surface water from extremely heavy rains, or from overrun riverbanks and streams. Floods waters are defined as water coming in through a window well or door. Flood insurance will not cover an incident if only your house is affected and it is not the result of a documented regional or local flood.

Flood insurance is provided by NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program), however most companies who sell homeowners insurance also sell flood insurance. It is recommended that all homes carry flood insurance. Floods may be infrequent in your area, but all areas of land, and all elevations are susceptible to floods. Let us help you review insurance quotes from several reputable companies in your area. Ask for quotes on flood insurance and if you have a sump pump in your basement ask about any applicable riders for seepage or sump pumps.

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