Have you ever faced rain-related damage to your home or car? Heavy rains can cause flooded basements, damage roofs, and siding, or even total a vehicle.
Unfortunately, standard insurance policies may not fully cover such weather-related incidents.
The good news is that you can get additional protection with endorsements or separate insurance policies to cover damages from heavy rains and flooding.
Here are some options to consider:
If you live in a high-risk flood zone, you likely need a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policy.
This federal program provides insurance for damage caused by surface flooding.
Renters can also get content coverage. NFIP policies have waiting periods, so get yours before the rainy seasons start.
Private insurers also offer flood coverage options. Compare them to NFIP plans for rates and claim payments.
Some private plans may cover additional water-related damage excluded by NFIP.
Sewer and Drain Back Up
Sewer and drain backup happens when excessive rain overwhelms municipal sewer systems.
The water and sewage can back up into basements through floor drains and toilets. This dirty backup can damage walls, floors, furniture, and appliances.
A sewer and drain endorsement or rider can be added to your home or renters insurance policy.
It provides limited coverage for clean-up and repairs from such backups. Carefully check policy limits, which may be in the $5,000 to $10,000 range.
Excess Flood Insurance
Home and business policies have specific dollar limits on coverages. If you need higher limits for flood damage, consider an excess flood or water damage policy.
This extra coverage generally starts after you hit the limits on your underlying policy.
For example, if you have $50,000 flood coverage on your home but need more protection, excess flood insurance can help.
It provides additional reimbursement above that initial $50,000 threshold from the original policy.
Scheduled Property Coverage
For high-value items vulnerable to water damage, like musical instruments or computers, scheduled property insurance is an option.
It’s an endorsement you add to homeowners’ or renters’ insurance to individually list certain valuables.
This coverage provides protection if your scheduled items are damaged by water or floods.
The insurer will reimburse you the scheduled amount for that specific property. Make sure to carefully document and regularly update your list of covered items.
Auto Comprehensive Coverage
For vehicles, comprehensive coverage is key for weather-related damage. It covers your car for events other than collision, like hail, windstorms, fire, and flooding.
For example, comprehensive insurance would pay if your car is totaled by rising flood waters.
Compare comprehensive deductibles when purchasing auto coverage.
A lower deductible means less out-of-pocket expense if you need to file a claim. Also, look for any dollar limitations on comprehensive claims.
An umbrella or excess liability policy provides additional liability coverage above your home and auto insurance limits.
It can also provide extra coverage for weather-related property damage if the dollar amounts exceed your underlying policies.
Umbrella insurance acts as a safety net in case of catastrophic flooding that causes costly home repairs or totals your car.
It provides another layer of protection on top of existing insurance coverages.
If stormy weather does hit your area, be prepared to file claims quickly. Notify your insurance company promptly if your property sustains damage.
Take photos documenting the damage, and make temporary repairs if possible.
Keep receipts for any expenses incurred due to the weather event, such as hotel stays while your home is repaired.
Work closely with your insurer’s claims adjuster through the process to maximize your insurance reimbursement.