When there’s too much water

Plants, animals, and people all need water. Water is a basic necessity of life, but what happens when there is too much water. Usually, flooding and substantial damage to life and property.

Did you know that flooding is the number one disaster in the United States? Seven out of ten presidentially declared disasters are flood related. Furthermore, most homeowners are not insured or prepared for water damage. To protect your home and belongings from flood insurance, a separate policy must be purchased through an insurance provider underwritten by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).


So what is a flood?

Under the NFIP definition, there must be “A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land area or of two or more properties (at least one of which is your property) from an overflow of inland or tidal waters…”. While there is more to the definition of a flood, the important point is, if only your house is damaged by an overflow of water and two acres or more are not flooded, no insurance policy will respond.

Water damage makes up 45% of all interior property damage; happening more often than fire, burglary or vandalism. The most common cause of non-weather related water damage is from the failure of a plumbing supply system. Ninety-four percent of homeowners have fire / smoke detection devices while less than 5% of residences have water shutoff devices. Pipes burst, appliances wear out, sewer lines can get backed up. Instead of waiting for the inevitable to happen, take steps to keep your home’s interior safe and dry.


Things you can do to prevent interior water damage:

If you are away from your home during the cool months, make sure the pipes in the walls have been insulated and keep the heat set at 60 degrees or higher. Know where the water main shutoff valve is located; educate your family so they know how to turn the water off if a leak or backup occurs.

If you travel or are planning to be gone for an extended period of time, turn off your water main before leaving, get a neighbor or friend to check INSIDE your home periodically, and make sure they know where the water main is located in case they need to turn off the water. If you have a flow-based water shutoff device, set it to “away” before you leave.


Can’t insurance help me?

As described above, not all instances of flooding can be insured, but If you are in a flood zone or an area which receives excessive rain in short period of time, ask your agent to provide you with a flood quote. In most states, insurance carriers do not include coverage for the backup or sewers or drains with the standard home owners policy. Check with your agent to ensure that you have this valuable coverage added to your policy.
Ultimately, there is only so much you can do to prepare for water damage, but the best option for the unknown, is to work with your insurance brokerage agency to help prepare you for the unpredictable. With a wide variety of knowledge, Walterry Insurance Brokers can help you find the information about possible water damage you’re looking for.