Flood insurance and personal property
Homeowners looking to protect their investment may be considering flood insurance as part of their overall coverage. Even if you don’t live in a high-risk area, you may want to research flood insurance. Flash flooding can occur almost anywhere, not just on coastal areas and near lakes and rivers. In fact, almost 25% of all flood insurance claims come from areas that aren’t high risk.
When considering policies, you will want to educate yourself as to what is and isn’t covered. All policies are different so use this only as a guideline. Most of the dwelling property should be covered, including the building, foundation, decks and detached garages. Systems such as the electrical, plumbing, heating and air conditioning will also be covered. Built-in appliances like dishwashers, stoves, refrigerators and microwaves should be included. Interior components including carpet and flooring, built-in storage, paneling and blinds will also be covered.
Policy holders will also be happy to know that most of their personal belonging should be included in coverage too. After the devastation of a flood, you don’t need the added hassle and expense of replacing everything you owned. Furniture, clothes and electronics will all generally be covered. Portable appliances such as air conditioners, microwaves, washers and dryers are all usually included as well. Policies may even cover the food in your refrigerator and freezer if flood damage causes spoilage. Drapes, blinds and rugs too, are covered in most cases.
It’s important to know not just what is covered, but what isn’t covered. Generally, detached buildings other than garages, and their contents, will need a separate policy. Policies may have a limit on valuables such as artwork, so if you have expensive paintings, choose wisely. Currency and precious metals are not usually included, though you can protect yourself with supplemental insurance. Property outside of the insured dwelling, such as plants, outdoor furniture, fences, pools and spas won’t be covered, nor will your car or other vehicles. Because of the high likelihood of damage, items stored in a basement or otherwise below the bottom floor are not likely to be covered. Also, it is important to understand that water backup through sewers and drains is not generally included in flood insurance, but is sometimes a component of homeowner’s insurance. As with any insurance policy, research thoroughly and document everything that could be subject to a claim. If you do your homework, you can rest assured that should the worst happen, not only will your home be covered, so will your personal possessions.