Flooding: What Does Insurance Cover?

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(via KOLR) – After heavy rainfall and widespread flooding, many homeowners have found themselves dealing with a flooded basement.

“We’ve received more than 100 jobs, and probably 60 to 70 percent of those jobs will be flooded basement,” said Anthony Tindall, branch manager at Servicemaster.

You can be covered by your homeowner’s insurance if you have an endorsement in your policy covering sump pump failure or backed up sewers.

“For instance, sometimes the city sewers become too overwhelmed and it will back up and go back into the home, that would be covered,” said Jennifer Hazelrigg, a State Farm insurance agent.

But if the water is coming from the outside, seeping through the home’s foundation, you’d better have  flood insurance

“Surface water is traditionally always excluded,”  said Hazelrigg.

Flood insurance is covered by FEMA, but insurance agents can help you with the process

“We would go online to the FEMA website and work you through all the necessary steps,” said Hazelrigg.

And despite the myth – you don’t have to live in a flood plain to get flood insurance.

“You can absolutely get it,” Hazelrigg said. “Traditionally, because of the cost, it can sometimes be prohibitive or not necessary.”

If you live in a flood risk area, a mortgage owner, for example, might even require it.

“Obviously the closer you are to a flooding prone area the more expensive the cost,” Hazelrigg said.

It’s hard to determine who will need flood insurance.

But if you have a basement, the professional advice is to make sure you have the sump pump endorsement.  

According to the National Flood Insurance Program, in Greene County, 366 flood policies were in effect as of February. The cost varies depending on the area, construction date, and property value. According to FEMA’s website, an insurance agent can help you get those exact numbers for your home if you think you need flood insurance. 

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