Whether it’s a storm, melting snow or even a hurricane, floods can happen anywhere, and flood waters can damage your home and possessions, leaving costly repairs. Homeowners insurance policies may cover some types of water damage, but they typically don’t cover all.
What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?
Damage caused by burst pipes, a leaking roof or accidents are typically covered. But damage caused by floods, neglect (like not repairing a drainage problem or failing to keep the heat on in freezing temperatures) or seepage through your home’s foundation may not be covered.
There can be a fine line between what’s covered and what’s not. For instance:
- If hail or heavy rain damages your roof, the damage is typically covered. But damage caused by rising waters or storm surge may not be covered.
- Damage from leaking pipes will typically be covered, but if the homeowner failed to maintain those pipes, the damage may not be covered.
Insurance claims from water damage are among the most common types of claims. Every year, about 1 in 50 homeowners files a water damage claim, according to the Insurance Information Institute. And the damage can be costly, averaging about $11,098.
So what can you do to protect yourself and your property? You may want to consider flood insurance in addition to your homeowners policy. Flood insurance can be an affordable investment that provides peace of mind and could cover problems such as:
- Storm surges
- Inland flooding, such as rivers and streams overflowing during a storm
- Flash floods
Mortgage providers require flood insurance for properties located in high-risk flood areas as a condition of a mortgage. To find out more about flood zones, visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website.
This content is intended to provide general information and shouldn't be considered legal, tax or financial advice. It's always a good idea to consult a tax or financial advisor for specific information on how certain laws apply to your situation and about your individual financial situation.