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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Understanding Insurance Coverage When Your Basement Floods

2/17/2022 (Permalink)

Image of a paper with the title "Homeowners Insurance Policy" It is helpful to understand your homeowner's policy.

A basement flood can happen for a variety of reasons. An active storm season, a busted or frozen pipe, leaking appliances and invasive groundwater can all affect the lowest level of your home in Sandy, UT. When this happens, one of your first calls is likely to be your insurance provider, and it helps to know exactly what your homeowner's policy covers.

2 Things You Should Know About Insurance Coverage

1. Insurance Limits

Even if you have great property coverage, some things will still be out-of-pocket expenses. There are several types of damage that aren't typically covered by the standard homeowner's policy:

  • Neglect - Rotting floorboards or drywall damage that happens due to an ongoing issue that you have failed to address in a timely manner is unlikely to be covered by your insurance. This is one of the reasons it's important to call water damage mitigation experts as soon as you notice a problem.
  • Plumbing - While your insurance coverage on your home pays for repairs to the structure itself, it doesn't usually cover repair or replacement of the leaky plumbing components that cause the damage.
  • Appliances - Likewise, your insurance policy doesn't pay to repair or replace broken appliances, which can also cause a flooded basement.
  • Storm Flooding - The typical homeowner's insurance plan doesn't pay for damage repair after a storm. It is wise to get a separate flood policy to protect your home, particularly if you live in a flood plain or have a basement.
  • Sewer Backup - A clog or break in the sewer line that leads to your home may result in a backup through a shower, bathtub, toilet or sink. Your property coverage may not pay for the subsequent damage, so a separate water backup policy is a good idea, particularly if you live in an older home or in an established neighborhood with a lot of trees.

2. Standard Coverage

If your basement flood is the result of a sudden, accidental incident, your homeowner's policy likely covers the mitigation of the water damage it leaves behind. This includes removal of damaged materials, water extraction, drying, disinfecting and restoration. Depending on how extensive your policy is, it may also pay for the recovery of some of your personal items, such as electronics or important documents.
While many policies share the same basic components, the only way to be sure of the terms of your specific coverage is to review the documents that outline its boundaries. Talk to your insurance agent if you need clarification. It is also a good idea to ask what risks you are taking that aren't covered by anything in your plan.

No matter how many preventative measures you take, a basement flood can still happen in your home. Knowing all the things that could cause it helps you decide what kind of coverage you need beyond the basic homeowner's package. Most of the structural damage may be covered by your plan, but you may have to pay for other repairs out of pocket. A thorough understanding of your homeowner's policy is helpful in deciding how much you need to save for a rainy day.

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