Let’s say that it’s raining and your house is going through the worst of the South Florida storms. The basement is flooded, the water is slowly creeping to the first floor, and your belongings are now submerged in water. You wonder how you’re going to recover, particularly whether or not your insurance policy will cover the costs to repair your property.
Whatever the cause of water damage, it’s unarguable that it can be a huge burden. While you may have insurance, it may not cover everything, including flood-related damage. In short, it can be a guessing game whether or not you’ll have to cover the costs yourself, or if you can count on your insurance policy.
In this article, we’ve outlined what your homeowner’s insurance policy may and may not cover. The experts at Luxury Property Care are here to help you understand your insurance, so you’ll know exactly what to do in the event of a flood in your South Florida property.
What Does Your Homeowner’s Insurance Cover?
In general, a homeowners insurance policy provides three coverages.
- Property coverage. Your insurer may be able to reimburse you for your belongings in case they’re damaged by a covered peril. However, it may not cover items that exceed a certain amount, such as luxury items.
- Dwelling coverage. This refers to the structure of your house. In the event of a covered peril, your instance policy can protect you by covering the costs of repairs – for instance, to repair a section of the floor or roof.
- Additional living expenses. Also called “ALE”, this is the amount that your insurer will give to you to cover the costs for travel, food, and temporary accommodations in case you’re displaced from your home.
Since insurance policies vary by coverage, it’s best to consult your property management agent to better understand its terms and to choose the right homeowners insurance.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Damage?
Let’s cut to the chase. If you’re wondering whether your insurance covers water-related damage, the answer is, “It depends.”
One way to know whether or not it’s covered is by asking yourself if the damage was due to a sudden or accidental cause. In short, it may be able to cover you for events that weren’t caused by you. Let’s say that your washing machine overflows and floods your home. In this situation, there’s a good chance that your insurance will pay for repairs as long as the overflow wasn’t due to your negligence.
Furthermore, it’s worth mentioning that your homeowner’s insurance policy will pay for repairs as long as water damage is internal. In other words, it will not provide coverage if the water has touched the outdoor grounds, or if the flooding came in from outside of the home. This means your homeowner insurance will not cover damages if your leaky basements get flooded by outside water. In that case, waterproofing your basement can save a lot of money.
In general, however, you don’t need to worry about whether or not your insurance will cover the water damage, because there’s a good chance that it will. As long as you do your part in property management (i.e. you don’t neglect the home), it’s very unlikely that you’ll pay out of pocket.
Let’s take a look at some situations that may or may not be covered by your insurance policy:
#1 Flooding due to rain
If you’re from South Florida, you’ll see a lot of storms year-round. Fortunately, water damage due to rain is almost always covered, however, it does not always cover flood damage.
Let’s say that it’s raining when the wind suddenly crashes into your window, causing the rain to enter your house. In this case, there’s a 99 percent chance that your insurer will pay for repairs since the cause was sudden and accidental.
However, if your home is flooded due to the rain, and the water enters from outside of the home, your insurance claim will probably be denied. It is very rare for a standard insurance policy to cover flood damage, so you’ll have to purchase additional flood insurance.
Be sure to find out if your property is in a flood-prone area. Your South Florida property management agent should be able to determine if additional flood insurance is ideal for you.
#2 Overflowing water from appliances
Again, your insurer will only pay for repairs as long as the damage wasn’t due to your negligence. If your brand new dishwasher leaks and damages your cabinets, your insurer should be able to pay for repairs since the damage was not due to poor maintenance of the appliance. However, if the leak is due to your own neglect (let’s say you have not checked your air conditioner in over five years), you’ll likely pay for repairs out of pocket.
To avoid water damage due to overflow, enlist some professional house organizing and cleaning services for your assistance. They will assist you to transform your messy Florida home into a neat and organized space.
#3 Water damage due to fire
Water damage and fire damage often go hand-in-hand. For example, if the water used to extinguish a fire damages your home, including your flooring, furniture, etc., your insurer should pay for repairs. Bear in mind that the fire should not be a result of your negligence. For instance, if you were playing with fireworks, your insurer will likely deny your claim due to your negligence.
#4 Sewer backup
Your standard insurance policy typically won’t cover you if water backs up into your house via an outside sewer. However, you do have the option to purchase sewer coverage to cover water damage in case you ever encounter this issue. Be prepared to pay about $50 to $250 for sewer backup coverage, but if your property isn’t at risk of a flood, then it may not be worth it.
Protect Your Property With Luxury Property Care
Want to protect your property from water damage? Get in touch with Luxury Property Care’s expert property managers today. We strive to protect your property from all types of danger so that you never have to worry about water damage. We’ll also help you determine the ideal insurance policy for your property so that you’re protected at all times.