After experiencing water damage, you may be left wondering what your options are. In most cases, you should make sure that you fix all water damage as quickly as possible. Once you have done this, you can then proceed to file for claims. Fixing your home immediately can prevent problems from getting worse due to mold or decomposition. However, afterward you will still need to deal with the consequences of the bills. For some homeowners, it may be possible for insurance to cover some of the losses. However, many homeowners insurance policies do not always come packaged with flood insurance. To provide assistance, this will take a look at the differences between flood insurance and water damage claims.
Water Damage Claims
After experiencing water damage, your first impulse was probably to call your insurance company. Hopefully, you haven’t done this yet. There is a big difference between water damage claims and flood insurance. Water damage can be caused by storms, accidents, or bursting pipes. These claims are only valid when water damage is associated with water that did not first touch the ground. This means that water coming from a regular thunderstorm or tornado is usually covered under water damage claims. In contrast, a flooded lake or stream that inundates a person’s home is not covered.
It is important to keep in mind that flood insurance is a special form of insurance contract. It does not automatically come with a standard homeowners insurance policy. In almost all cases, individuals have to purchase flood insurance separately from homeowners insurance. Since many homeowners are not aware of this, homeowners are often outraged when they discover that their insurance contract does not cover flood damage. Flood insurance is generally available for just a few dollars each month. Without this insurance, homeowners can not expect to have any damage associated with flooding covered under their homeowners insurance policy.
Implications of Denied Coverage
If an insurance company declines your application to cover water damage, it could still have a big impact on your monthly insurance rates. Insurance companies can take advantage of information in your claims application to increase your monthly insurance bills. It is not uncommon to see insurance companies viewing homes that have experienced flood damage as high risk. As a result, they have the right to appropriately increase your monthly rates according to this information.
The reality that your insurance rates could increase after being denied coverage makes it even more important to understand the difference between flood damage and water damage claims. Many individual homeowners make the mistake of filing claims for costs associated with flood damage, only to find that these costs are not covered. When the bill comes the next month, there is nothing that homeowners can do to bring their rates back down. Therefore, it is important to only file a claim if flood damage is explicitly covered in the homeowners insurance contract. In some cases, it may even be recommended for homeowners to work with an attorney to ensure that it is appropriate to file a water damage claim.