A property that is usually dry gets flooded when it gets submerged with an overflow of water. It is not only the most common severe weather event worldwide but also the deadliest.
Many lives and properties are lost to floods every year. Events such as rains, hurricanes, tsunamis and others trigger them. The overflowing water can be only a few inches or high enough to sweep away cars, buildings, and other properties.
Homeowners should have a fair idea about what their property insurance policies cover or not. Many companies don’t cater for damage by river floods and hurricane damage under a ‘water damage‘ clause.
Reasons Why Insurance Companies Have Water Damage Exclusions
Insurance companies give two main reasons for excluding floods and hurricanes from most homeowner policies.
- Frequency of floods
Floods are frequent in the United States. Reports show that the country gets hit with urban flooding events at least once every two to three days for the past 25 years. This number is higher in flood-prone areas.
Natural disasters cause a lot of damage. The frequency and cost involved in dealing with it spell financial suicide for any single insurance company that covers it under their policies.
- Prevention Mechanism
Property owners should undertake landscaping to ensure that water efficiently drains away from their assets.
Insurance companies feel that covering floods and hurricanes will not encourage people to apply due diligence against these disasters when acquiring a property.
It will only be natural since the consequences will not be at their expense.
What Options Exist for Home Owners Who Face Such Natural Disasters?
This situation doesn’t mean there is no safety net for unfortunate homeowners whose properties get flooded in natural disasters.
There are ways to insure your property to prevent you from losing everything when such events occur.
- National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
NFIP offers coverage for people living in a floodplain. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) handles this program in collaboration with about 90 private insurance companies.
These organizations are authorized to offer their clients NFIP. It has a fixed policy rate that considers factors such as age, structure type, level of risk for floods, etc.
Homeowners, therefore, receive the same conditions regardless of the company that makes the offer.
- Flood Insurance
People can also purchase policies for protection against floods and hurricanes. This is commonly known as flood insurance.
If your property is in a high-risk zone, some lenders will require such insurance before giving you a mortgage.
It is available to people who own both residential and commercial structures. There is also an option for covering your properties within these structures.
Even though insurance companies exclude these natural disasters in their structure policies, it doesn’t mean all water-related damages are not covered. You can receive an insurance cover for specific kinds of water damage.
An example is when a pipe bursts in your property. Many policies cover such an event as well as other plumbing accidents.
Some companies also cover certain types of hurricane-related damages.
You only need to know and understand what offers are available for which conditions. Contact an insurance agent for a full breakdown.