Welcome back to the Disaster Response blog! Lately, we have been discussing water damage restoration in the Grand Rapids area and, specifically, how that relates to your homeowners insurance policy. In our last blog post, we began discussing flood insurance and why you might need it. If you have ever needed water damage restoration in your West Michigan home, you will know that the way in which your insurance company defines water damage may not be how you would define it. There are distinctions that aren’t intuitive to the layperson that the insurance company places on damages caused by water and one of those is flood damage.
Your insurance company won’t cover damage caused by flooding and so it is imperative that if you live in a high-risk zone, that you invest in flood insurance. Your insurance company may require you to buy a flood insurance policy. However, not all do. Before we get too far along in today’s topic, be sure to check out previous blog posts about your homeowner’s insurance policy and water damage:
- Water Damage and Your Insurance Policy – Learn about your homeowner’s policy and what water damage it does and does not cover.
- Water Damage and Your Insurance Policy – Part 2 – Read more about how to avoid paying out of pocket and when you might be required to foot your water damage bill.
- You Insurance Policy & Water Damage Sources – The way in which the insurance company defines sources of water damage will determine when water damage is covered and when it is not. Check our this blog post to learn more.
What Does Flood Insurance Cover?
Now that you are an expert and know what your homeowners insurance policy covers, let’s dive into what flood insurance covers. First, you must understand that there are two types of coverage: building property coverage and personal contents coverage.
Building Property Coverage
This type of flood insurance policy will cover the physical structures of your home. Covered elements include your home, home’s foundation, plumbing, and electrical system. Other systems and parts of your home such as your HVAC system, attached bookcases, cabinets, and paneling would require their own insurance policy.
Building property coverage is paid out on a replacement cost basis: you will be paid by how much it would cost to repair your home. Typically the maximum coverage limit is $250,000.
Personal Contents Coverage
The second type of flood insurance is personal contents coverage. This policy covers most items in your home including your clothing, furniture, electronics, art, freezers and the food in them, as well as portable appliances. When you submit a claim you will be paid a cash value for items lost and that cash value will always take depreciation into account. Maximum coverage is usually capped at $100,000.
What Does Flood Insurance Not Cover?
Like any insurance policy, there are expenses that are not covered by your flood insurance policy. Some of those items and costs not covered include:
- Damage that could have been avoided by the homeowner such as mold or mildew
- Paper money or currency, precious metals, and items such as stock certificates
- Decks, fences, patios, landscaping, wells, septic systems, hot tubs, pools, and other outdoor property elements
- Extra living expenses such as temporary housing
- Your car and other vehicles
Keep in mind that coverage for below-ground rooms is limited and so damaged sustained there may be limited or not covered at all. If you are in need of flood insurance, be sure to talk to an agent today and make sure that you have coverage that you need for your home. It’s easy to assume that disaster will never happen to us in Grand Rapids, until it does. You deserve to have the coverage that you need!
If you have recently suffered damages due to a flood or other water catastrophe be sure to contact Grand Rapids water damage restoration experts at Disaster Response. We are available 24-hours a day and 7 days a week. We also offer a WatchDog Program when you need someone on your side during the insurance claims process. Visit our website to learn more and get the help you need now!