If you have homeowners insurance, you may think your home is protected from any eventuality. Unfortunately, that's not always the case. Specific events like floods, earthquakes, and other natural disasters are not covered under most homeowners insurance policies. But wait, you might say—what do you mean homeowners insurance doesn't cover floods?
All flood insurance policies are issued by the National Flood Insurance Program run by FEMA. Some homeowners insurance companies will provide an addendum that includes flood insurance, but the National Flood Insurance Program always underwrites it.
According to Alliance Insurance Agency, "damage caused by most disasters is covered, but there are exceptions. The most significant are damage caused by floods, earthquakes and poor maintenance. You must buy two separate policies for flood and earthquake coverage."
Check your toilets
Many people believe they are safe from flooding because they live on high ground. However, flooding can occur for many reasons, one of the most common of which is plumbing problems. Take a moment and think about what would happen if your pipes were to back up. Chances are, they would spill back out into your home via the sink and the toilets.
If you have a sump pump, the risk of that happening is even higher. Sump pumps are responsible for getting water out of your basement—a part of the home that is traditionally below the water level—and away from where it can't do damage. If a sump pump fails, the water begins to build in your basement.
It's a good idea to routinely check your plumbing and make sure it's working correctly. If you aren't sure how to do that, hire a plumber to take a look at it for you. Proactive maintenance is key to preventing disasters in your home. This may even include checking your dishwasher to see if it is draining correctly or if it continues to leak. Remember, like Fletcher’s Plumbing says, “dishwashers have a great potential to improve our lives: if they work properly.” This goes for all plumbing and other appliances in the home.
A Plumber can provide you with an inspection at a fair, competitively priced estimate for any necessary plumbing repairs. Keeping your plumbing up to date and in good repair is the first step toward preventing internal flooding in your home. While it may seem like maintenance can cost a lot, the price pales in comparison to replacing carpet or repairing your foundation because your sump pump fails.
Don't wait until heavy rains or another event causes your plumbing to fail. Keep it maintained with regular inspections. These will save you much more in the long run than it costs, and the peace of mind that comes with knowing your plumbing is working just fine is priceless. After all, do you want to be the one that has to repair a broken sewer pipe under your house?
Remember, that these are just basic maintenance issues. Homeowners insurance covers the unexpected damages and the policy is about protecting your home from those damages. This includes your damage created by your pets. Make sure you talk to your insurance agent to find out what is covered under your homeowners policy and what you need to do to get flood coverage. It could save you financially in the long run.