Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Do I need Flood Insurance? Wont' my homeowners policy cover it?

With the recent fires and a storm moving in, you might want to take a second look at your homeowners insurance policy.

While all homeowners policies some form of natural disaster, such as earthquakes here in California, you should know that flood coverage is also excluded in all policies, including commercial.

For example, lets say you live in a community where a recent fire happened. You and your neighbors where evacuated during the fire, but you are back home now looking at the charred hillside and counting your blessings. Are you out of danger? There may be nothing left to burn on the hill, so it won't catch fire for a while.

What about rain? The vegetation that held the topsoil and underlying earth may no longer be enough to hold the ground together. Down comes not only the water runoff but mud and rocks.

Your home owners policy will not provide coverage if your home floods. Most commercial policies don't provide flood coverage either. Sure, you could try to explain that it was the fire that caused the problem, but a flood is a flood. The definition of a flood is water, mud and/or debris entering the structure from the outside, filling up inside the structure and then running back out. This definition could also include a water main breaking and the water running into your home or business.

Flood insurance is the best bet to protect your home. You may not be in a flood zone, but you could still have a flood. This is different that a pipe breaking inside your home because the water is coming in from the outside. You can learn more about flood zones and check on how much risk you are in by visiting the national flood program website at http://www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/pages/flooding_flood_risks/defining_flood_risks.jsp .

If you live near a burn area you might want to consider getting flood insurance to protect your home. If your home floods, the cost of being insured and paying a deductible will be well worth it.

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