Welcome back to the Disaster Response blog! Lately, we have been covering all things water damage restoration and everything in between. If you have recently experienced a flood, have water damage, and need help, visit the Disaster Response website and contact us! When your basement floods, your dishwasher malfunctions, or you discover that you have a plumbing issue, you need to get help right away. Letting an issue sit— even overnight — can create even more damage, costing you more money and causing the restoration process to take even longer. Call our disaster response team in Grand Rapids that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We have your back!

If you have just come home to a flood, you probably have a lot of thoughts rushing through your head: what happened, how much damage was caused, how much will this cost me, and how much will the insurance company pay? Perhaps your home has been restored already and you are looking at a rejected insurance claim and wondering why. Maybe you now know why your claim was rejected and are doing your own research about flood insurance. Regardless of where you are, this blog is for you! Today, we will begin to discuss the basics of flood insurance, including what it is and when you need it.

When Is It Flood Damage?

The way that insurance companies define home damage is based on the water source. From a homeowners perspective, it’s easy to think that any damage caused by water should be considered water damage, but that is not the case. Damage considered “water damage” is typically:

  • Weather-related
  • Effects of overflowing water
  • Damage from a hot water heater or other appliance
  • Damage from frozen pipes
  • Damage from maintenance issues
  • Outer water backup

Damage that is considered “flood damage” is that which is caused by natural causes and has occurred to you and your neighbors. Torrential rainstorms can cause lakes, ponds, rivers, drainage systems, and other man-made or natural waterways to flood. Hydrostatic pressure can change and cause water to seep through the ground and into your basement. The damage caused by these occurrences is usually defined as flood damage and will not be covered by your insurance policy.

Do I Need Flood Insurance?

If you have acquired your homeowner’s insurance policy from a federally regulated or insured lender then your insurance agent is legally mandated to require you to obtain flood insurance, if your property is at a high-risk for flood damage. However, if your property is at a medium to low risk then you most likely won’t be required to purchase additional insurance. If your insurance company isn’t required to notify you or you simply want to do your own research, you should check out FEMA’s flood maps and see if your home falls within a medium to high-risk zone. Also, be sure to check back periodically to see if the flood map has changed in your area.  

That is where we will conclude today, but be sure to stay tuned for our next blog post that will go into more depth about what a flood insurance policy includes, how to acquire flood insurance, and more. If you need help with your insurance claims process in Grand Rapids, check out our WatchDog Program. We can help you!