Flood damage can be very disastrous for any building. Many people do not think of water as highly destructive. After all, people use it to clean. However, if there is too much water in an area of a building, and it is not cleaned up properly, this can cause a great deal of damage to the building. It can additionally cause mold formation, which can be hazardous.
If you do not have a lot of experience with flooding and the consequences, you might have many questions. For example, you might wonder, where can I find the best flood damage restoration companies? What is the minimum amount of flood insurance required? Generally, what are the benefits of flood insurance? What exactly should I do if my basement is covered or flooded with water? Does insurance cover flooding in every state? Because the laws that pertain to flood insurance are different from state to state, the answers to these questions are often going to depend on where you live. If you do the appropriate research and call insurance agencies in your area, you should be able to find the answers to your questions and see what you need to do in terms of flood protection and flood insurance.
The damage caused by flooding can be devastating. Even when it’s not as severe as some of the tragedies we see on the news, flooding can damage a home structurally and aesthetically, as well as ruining furnishings and personal possessions. What can you do to minimize the risk associated with flooding? Here are the three most important things all homeowners should know about flood damage:
- Some Flooding Is Easily AvoidableThere are some causes of flooding, such as hurricanes, that you have no control over. But flooding caused by winter storms or snowmelt can be avoided with a few indoor and outdoor updates. First of all, ensure that you have a sufficient gutter system with downspouts that empty into well-drained areas. You can also improve drainage by checking the grading on your property; you want your house to sit on high ground so that rain and melting snow run away from the house, rather than your house sitting in a bowl (which is just asking for flood damage). You can also have your basement professionally sealed for a comparatively modest sum.
- Flooding May Not Be Covered by InsuranceWhile your homeowners insurance covers some weather-related damage (such as hail or wind), it’s likely that it doesn’t cover flood damage, fire damage or earthquake damage. You’ll need to investigate separate insurance policies for these hazards. In some areas where the risk of flooding is high, the law — or your mortgage agreement — may require you to get flood insurance. But since flooding can be caused by internal problems such as burst pipes, as well as weather, all homeowners should at least consider flood insurance.
- You Don’t Have to Accept Insurance OffersJust because you have a policy covering flood damage doesn’t mean your insurance company will pay your claim without resistance. The good news is that you don’t have to accept your insurance company’s first offer. If you think your damage is more extensive than what will be covered by the offer, then you may need to engage public adjuster services. If you’re not exactly sure what this means, you’re not alone: The first question most public adjusters are asked is “what is a public adjuster?” Essentially, a public adjuster is a professional who works for you, rather than the insurance company, to independently value claims. This can help you dispute your insurance company’s findings and get an offer that will cover all your expenses.
What questions do you have about flood damage or filing flood insurance claims? Join the discussion in the comments.