Budding trees, bees on pollen prowl, and migratory birds on the wing—oh yeah, it’s spring! And while we all glory in this time of renewal and growth (allergies aside), when nature turns the page, we should always be ready for the unexpected.
Yards are teeming with spring blossoms, and torrential rain showers are just a normal part of the year’s cycle. But our modern, non-porous living spaces—think cemented or paved driveways, walkways and patios—can’t handle the downpours. When these and other factors collide, we can see flash floods, sewer drain backup, or sump pump overflow.
Your finally “finished” basement took months and $1000s to build, and you couldn’t be happier. But Mother Nature has her own agenda. Heavy spring storms back up sewer drains and nearby construction diverts rainwater straight onto your property—and right into your basement.
It’s like déjà vu, all over again. Buying materials (yet again!) and hiring contractors to repair the damages will be on this week’s to-do list. Believe it or not, just one inch of water can really rack up the damage—we’re talking up to $25,000. Granted, that’s the high end. But even the average from just 10 years ago was over $5,000–and prices only go up from there, reaching a whopping average of $8.3 billion nationwide. “That’s ok,” you tell yourself, “I’ll swallow the deductible and my homeowners coverage will kick in.”
But without extra planning, frustration can easily reach a fever pitch. Homeowners policies will not cover flooding that meets FEMA definitions and terms may vary when it comes to other sources of water damage. Say what? Damage caused by things like burst pipes, an overflowing toilet, or a leaking dishwasher are generally covered if they’re everyday household occurrences. It’s when circumstances behind the water inundation meet “flood” qualifications that things get dicey. In that case, without add-on protections or flood insurance, related repairs will end up as out-of-pocket costs.
Lower risk = lower cost = Preferred Risk Policy—look into it!
n. - a general and temporary condition where two or more acres of normally dry land or two or more properties are inundated by water or mudflow (see Safeco's FAQs)
Doubting whether you need specific protection for flooding or water backup? It’s wise to have an inventory in place anyway, and when it comes to assessing value, there’s nothing better. Safeco offers a free inventory app to do just that. Once that’s done and you know the losses you’d face in a flood, there are plenty of preventive steps you can take so good ‘ol Mother Nature doesn’t get the best of you.
Like you, we don’t believe everything we hear. But this stat rings true: it’s ten times more likely for your home to be damaged by water than by fire. That means there are a whole lot of opportunities for water to wreak havoc during the life of a home. And this is a situation that can affect renters and homeowners alike—stuff is stuff. When it’s ruined by water, that’s what insurance folks call a “loss.” Those same agents and insurance companies are happy to help, but can only do so much if flood damage is excluded from your policy. Given that “more than 20 percent of flood claims come from properties outside high-risk flood zones,” flood insurance is a protection that everyone should look into.
We know that you’re busy planning vacations and lining up a summer full of fun—the season sure flies by. So give your agent a call before things heat up. Knowing what your policy specifically covers is key, and agents are fluent in legalese. As always, help is right within reach.
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