Billl Voss of the Voss Law Firm would like you to know all that needs to go into preparing for the event of a flood. Flood is a word most people are relatively familiar with, and we all have our own general definition. We tend to believe that if we encounter water where it doesn't belong, then we have been flooded. But when it comes to insurance, the definition of "flood" can be quite specific; and it is important to understand how this affects your property coverage. Flood, as it relates to insurance, is often defined as water that rises from the ground up.
In many states, flood insurance is a separate policy taken out in addition to the home or building coverage. It is important to discuss with your agent how flood is covered in your state. Ask if flood coverage is available as an endorsement to your existing property policy, and if not, discuss the requirements and eligibility for obtaining flood insurance in your area.
If you opt to take a flood insurance policy, make sure you thoroughly understand how the policy works. Many flood policies are not replacement cost and can often have limited coverage. Flood policies may cover things differently than a property policy does, and therefore it is important to know which policy will cover your specific claim. For example, a burst pipe, backed-up commode, or water from a faulty appliance generally are not defined as flood (depending on the state your property is in), and these claims would need to be filed under the property policy.
Taking the time to understand flood insurance and to evaluate your needs and exposures are excellent ways to be prepared. Meet with your agent to discuss what you have, what you need, and what is available. Cover yourself now, so that you can recover later.
If you need assistance with a claim and are having difficulty, please contact us to find out how the Voss Law Firm can help. For more information on this topic please see our weekly insurance claim update.