Homeowners Insurance and Basement Flooding

Whether you have ever experienced the unfortunate incidence of having your basement flood or not, there are definitely some facts about homeowners insurance that you need to know about. Most homeowners insurance policies do not cover you for your basement flooding. Most homeowner’s policies do not come with any type of basement flooding insurance, unless it was caused from a busted or burst water line. There normally is a separate rider that is available for most consumers that you can have added to your homeowners insurance that will cover some basement flooding and this normally ranges anywhere from 150-200 extra per year for this coverage (money well spent if you ever have the unfortunate luck to have to experience a flooded basement). However, even with this extra coverage it usually only covers flooding that is due to a sewer backup. If your flooding is the result of cracks in your foundation, water coming in through your windows, or coming in through your walls, then chances are that it will not be covered. Most insurance policies nationwide work this way. There is flood insurance that some homeowners are required to obtain if their home is deemed to be in a flood zone as considered by FEMA. This insurance is extremely expensive and usually covers more than traditional homeowners insurance and more than the homeowners insurance rider that you can add to your policy for flooding.

If you ever have to experience a flooded basement here are some quick tips for insurance purposes. Act quickly, get your camera and take pictures in case you need them for a homeowner’s insurance claim. Take pictures of everything that is damaged, and the level of the water. This way you will have proof of everything that took place. You can even consider videotaping the damage and the flooded basement as well to insure that you have adequate documentation in case anything comes into question with your claim. At this point contact your homeowners insurance agent and tell them about what is going on and what has happened. They will be able to direct you to the appropriate number to begin your claim or get everything started themselves.

Quick Basement Tips:

* Have a working sump pump in your basement

* Have a battery operated backup, in case of failure or power loss

* Make sure your yard drains away from your home

* Have your basement walls waterproofed

* Add rocks and drain leading away from the house in the base of any window wells you have around basement windows

* Check your basement periodically during heavy rains, big storms, or extended periods of rain

* Check your basement walls at least once every year to look over the structure to insure everything looks good and there are no cracks in the walls

* If possible have a sump pump with a separate drain outside of your home

* Look into your current homeowner’s insurance policy to see what is covered, what is not and what your options are for extra coverage

Remember if your basement has flooded, then chances are that others in your area are going through the same thing. The sooner you act, the better, and the quicker that your claim can be processed and taken care of. If you do not have the extra rider added on to your homeowners insurance policy for flooding and you have a finished basement you may want to seriously consider the policy rider. It may be well worth it. Contact your insurance agent soon to discuss exactly what is covered and what is not covered in terms of basement flooding and be proactive in this situation just in case you ever have to go through this. Trust me it is not fun, especially when you discover it is not covered.