By Amy Harris
Most homeowners insurance policies do not cover damage caused by flooding. This is important to check when getting flood insurance quotes. If your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), you can buy flood insurance coverage through agents enrolled in the NFIP-Direct program.
A flood insurance policy normally takes 30 days from the date of purchase to go into effect. Consumers can get more information at the National Flood Insurance Program website at https://www.fema.gov/flood-insurance.
Throughout the year, homeowners are encouraged to conduct an annual insurance review with their agent to make sure you have the appropriate homeowner and flood coverage in place when needed. It is important to remember that a flood insurance policy normally takes 30 days from the date of purchase to go into effect, so homeowners are cautioned to please not wait until a flood is imminent to buy a policy.
If you have water damage, contact your insurance agent for guidance. Damage from water that enters a home through a sewer, drain or sump pump is excluded from a homeowners’ policy but coverage may be added to your policy for an additional premium. Homeowners should contact their agent for more information.
An optional endorsement that adds coverage for accidental direct physical loss caused by water or sewage that enters through a sewer or drain that is located inside the interior of the dwelling, or water which enters into and overflows from within a sump pump well that is located inside the interior of the dwelling.
If you experience flooding/rising water in your home:
— When it is safe to do so, assess the damage.
— Take pictures/video of your property to expedite the claims process.
— Make temporary repairs, as needed. Keep all receipts.
— File a claim.
Vehicle Flooding – General Messages:
— We recommend against driving vehicles damaged by floodwater until they have been inspected by a qualified technician.
— Policyholders whose vehicles have experienced flood damage should contact their insurance agent for further guidance before seeking repairs. If a claim has already been reported, the customer can contact claims directly for assistance.
— Typically, vehicles are covered under the comprehensive coverage of the auto policy for flooding. Not all customers choose to purchase comprehensive coverage.
Tips for flooded vehicles:
— DO NOT start a flooded vehicle until it has received a thorough inspection by a qualified mechanic.
— Record the highest level of water exposure on your flooded vehicle. Take pictures/video.
— Contact your agent or insurance company and advise them that your vehicle has been flooded. The sooner the vehicle can be evaluated and dried out, the less damage the vehicle will sustain.
— Comprehensive coverage on a typical auto insurance policy will generally cover damage to your car caused by a flood, subject to your deductible if any.
Once you know the extent of your car’s flood damage, you’ll need to weigh repair costs against the cost of replacing your car.