If you are concerned about the cost of water damage to your home, you should be. Water can be highly destructive to both your home and its contents. Just a small amount of water in a home can create a hazardous environment that is hospitable to disease-causing mold. Not to mention, the cleanup costs can be atrocious. Just two inches of standing water can cause more than $20,000 in damages to a standard-size home. If the damage is covered by your homeowners insurance, it’s no sweat. Unfortunately, there are many types of water damage that are excluded. Continue reading to find out more about water-related losses and which types of additional coverage you may need to protect your home.
Overflow, Discharge, and Backup
The details of your homeowners insurance policy outline your coverage and exclusions for water overflow, discharge, and backup. Overflow and discharge are often covered so long as they occur as the result of a sudden and accidental event. An example might include discharged water from a loose washing machine hose or rain that pours through a hole in your roof after a tree falls on it during a storm. On the other hand, accidental water losses are generally covered. However, if water damage is due to inadequate home maintenance, you will likely be out of luck.
Water and sewer backup is also typically excluded by homeowners insurance policies. However, you can purchase an endorsement for this type of coverage for a small fee. Adding water and sewer coverage means you will be protected if water or raw sewage backflows into your home due to a blocked or collapsed drain line. Give us a call here at Ellis Insurance to add a water and sewer backup endorsement to your homeowners policy.
Why Purchase Flood Insurance?
Homeowners insurance does not cover flooding, nor can you purchase an endorsement that pays for flood damages. Instead, you need a separate flood insurance policy through the National Flood Insurance Program that helps pay for cleanup and repair of your home, as well as replacement of its contents if surface water ever rises over your foundation. The risk of flooding is highest in low-lying areas and areas near bodies of water, although it can happen outside high-risk areas as well. You can find out more about your risk and how it might affect your flood insurance rates by visiting the FEMA Flood Map Service Center.
Never make a decision to forego flood insurance based solely on the fact that you have never experienced a flood before. Changes in rainfall patterns, flood-control techniques, and the topography around your home and community can all contribute to surface water accumulation in areas that are normally dry. Relying on federal assistance after a flood is never a good idea, either. First, the area must be declared a disaster before assistance becomes available. Even then, any assistance given is usually in the form of an interest-based loan that must be repaid.
According to the Wisconsin Emergency Management Team, the average flood insurance premium in the Badger State is just $700 per year, or a little under $60 per month. Compare that to the tens of thousands of dollars it can cost to remediate damages caused by just a few inches of flood waters, and it is easy to see why flood insurance is a smart purchase for many homeowners.
Do you have flood insurance? If not, contact an agent here at Ellis Insurance for assistance. But don’t wait – there is a 30 day waiting period before your coverage becomes effective.