What is Covered by Home Insurance When Your Basement Floods?
Have you ever gone down the steps to the basement only to realize that the whole area had turned into a small pond? As you watch items float away, you can help but just stare in despair and horror. In such cases, panic sets in since you are not sure whether a flooded basement is covered by your home insurance.
A house is a major investment, and many homeowners insure it. Having insurance that protects against flooding is important: FEMA found that just one inch of water inside the average home can cause $25,000 worth of damage. Every homeowner should know that some flooding situations are not covered by your home insurance. If you are wondering whether a flooded basement is covered by your home insurance, here is an insight into the matter.
When Home Insurance Covers a Flooded Basement
Water always flows down, so a large amount of things can lead to a flooded basement. If any of these factors led to your basement flooding, you can count on your home insurance policy to cover any damages.
Flood Due to Broken Appliances
If your AC, washing machine or refrigerator malfunctions leading to a “surprise indoor swimming pool,” this type of water damage is covered under your standard homeowners' insurance policy.
However, insurance companies will always cover the damage of a faulty appliance malfunction. Remember that in most circumstances your home insurance doesn’t cover the cost of a new appliance. So, they will cover the water damage caused by the broken appliance, but you will have to buy a new unit out of your pocket.
Burst Frozen Pipes
During the winter, temperatures can drastically drop leading to burst pipes from the freezing water. Your home insurance policy can cover the damage resulting from such a flood. Also, burst pipes from sprinklers, an AC unit, and other appliances are covered in case they freeze. There is one condition though. You need to be living in the house while the flood occurs.
However, there is an exception. If you can prove that you were maintaining your home with heat or you had turned off all your water systems, your insurance policy will cover the damages. So, if you’re leaving for an extended vacation this winter, keep that in mind.
Flood Caused by a Bursting Water Heater
Any damage from a bursting water heater is treated similar to that from a faulty appliance, and therefore, it is covered by your home insurance. However, you need to be aware of whether your heater is leaking due to malfunction or neglect. If your insurer gets proof that the leak was caused by neglect, or the water damage was occuring over weeks or months your claim will be denied.
Flooding caused by Rain
Is rain water covered….. Mayyyyybe
If rainwater enters the home from the roof, or if the wind drives the rain into your home, then it is covered by home insurance. If the ground helps to drive the rainwater into your home, then it is not covered by home insurance.
When Home Insurance Doesn’t Cover Water Damage
Surface Water Flooding
Water that enters your home from the surface is usually not covered by your home policy. This can be resolved by getting additional coverage from an inexpensive flood policy.
Getting a flood policy can also provide coverage for the infamous “I told you so.”
When the water table rises underground and past your foundation and basement, the water puts pressure on your basement walls. If your basement floods as a result of this, sorry but this is not covered by home insurance. you’ll need flood insurance in order to have it covered.
If you have optional coverage for water backup in your Home Insurance policy, then you are covered for if water backs up in a sink, pipe, toilet, or outside drain.
Reach out to Joyce Insurance Agency if you have any questions about Home Insurance or basement flood coverage.