Does my homeowners insurance cover flooding?
You weathered the storm. After all the warnings and speculation, precautions and concern, the worst is over, and your home is still standing. Standing in water, maybe, but intact.Now all that’s left to do, after counting your lucky stars, is buckle down and focus on flood restoration efforts. Regardless of the extent of damage to your home, the task may seem overwhelming.
Flood damage isn’t something homeowners deal with often. Unlike “routine” services like a plumber or carpet cleaner, it’s fortunately very rare when you need a flood damage company like us. But because it isn’t very common, it’s also very confusing to most homeowners. And you can only imagine how much stress is added to the equation when you’re dealing with an emergency event like substantial flooding. Many people have no idea where to turn or what actions to take. In some cases, that can lead to paralysis. In other cases, it can lead to making poor decisions that can either put your health and safety at risk or cause you significant financial hardship down the road. We always tell people in your situation that it’s a good idea to ask as many questions as possible as soon as possible. That goes for any flood restoration service company you are talking to, your insurance adjuster, or anyone else that might be involved in the recovery process.
Here are the most common questions we get from home or business owners that have experienced significant flooding damage to their property. If you find yourself in their shoes, you’d be wise to make sure you have the answers you need to make the best decisions to protect yourself, your family and your bank account.
Does my homeowners insurance cover flooding?
Sadly it does not. But it’s important to understand the difference between flood damage and water damage. Many homeowners aren’t aware of the differences, and that confusion can give way to shock once they realize they’ll be left footing the bill for flood damage to their home. To try and put it most simply, flood damage is when water comes into your home from outside while water damage is when water intrusion begins within your home. Flooding is not covered under a standard insurance policy while the latter example is in most cases. If you’ve taken out a loan to buy your home, whatever lender you have used will typically require that you purchase an additional flood insurance policy if your home resides in a flood plain. Should it not, and you don’t have flood insurance, it could be a very bad.
What should I do immediately to protect my safety?
During a flood event, your life is at risk from a number of dangers. Obviously rising water levels and quickly moving water can cause drowning, but there are other dangers you should be aware of. If it’s the case you find yourself unable to leave your home due to the rapidly rising water levels, seek the highest position in your home possible. If you live in a 2 story home, go to the second story and call for help. If you’re unable to stay dry, it’s important you turn off the electricity to your home as well as your gas. In some instances, electrocution or gas leaks can occur due to flooding.
Who should I call to help me?
If you’re in danger, always call 911. If the danger has subsided but you don’t know where to turn, you have a variety of resources. Locally, you may have some non-profit organizations that can help you put the pieces back in place and begin the recovery process. The Red Cross is always a good resource in the event of a natural disaster. They typically put employees and volunteers on the ground after large-scale flood events to help people in your situation.
If you do have flood insurance and aren’t sure what to do, we would encourage you to call us to begin the process of assessing your loss. It’s probably a good opportunity to remind you that costsfor our services are dictated by your insurer. So as long as you hire a company that is using Xactimateto estimate the cost of your flooding damage cleanup services, that company is going to ultimately work with your insurer to determine the cost of the loss. We say that to remind you that you don’t need to worry about whether or not the cost of your loss will be covered by your insurer. Sometimes people wait around for their adjuster to take the lead on the claim, and when there has been a major flood event, they’re often overloaded with claims and can’t get to you in a timely fashion. That means your property ends up with even more damage to it, and not to mention the risk of health hazards increase as your property sits waterlogged.
From beginning to end, we can handle 100% of the restoration process so you don't have to. This can include content pack-outs, cleaning & storage of personal property, structural drying & mitigation, mold remediation, lead & asbestos abatement, and full re-construction services. We are licensed, bonded, and fully insured. We abide by all state and federal laws, and are certified as a "Lead Safe Renovator" with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and accredited with the IICRC. Call (414) 810-3522 or Madison: 608-467-3200 or visit http://www.emergencyrest.com.