Water Damage – What’s Covered?

Thankfully we didn’t get much damage from Sandy around here, but who knows when the next superstorm will hit the Boston area and hit us hard.  A number of things can cause water damage to a home and it’s good to understand what’s covered by your insurance policy since not all water damage will be covered. Generally, you need a one time event to invoke coverage rather than something gradual due to deferred maintenance.

Some incidents are specifically exempt from homeowner policies such as floods. A flood can be described as rising water due to an overflow of the ocean or a river or stream or unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface water from any source (including the worst type of flood when the city’s sewer backs up into your basement).

If your home is in a designated flood zone then your lender already requires you to have flood insurance.

Even if you don’t live in a dedicated flood zone, you could be affected by flood damage as many people in New York and New Jersey found out. Review your policy about water damage and call your insurance agent to get a better understanding. Ask if you need to purchase additional coverage or separate flood insurance along with other questions.

Flood insurance can be purchased for your home and your contents. The average flood insurance policy costs about $600 per year. For more information, see the National Flood Insurance Program.