If you have a basement, there’s a good chance you’ve experienced a basement flood at some point. A flooded basement can cause a substantial amount of damage, and your homeowners insurance may not always cover that damage. Three major factors typically come into play when determining whether a basement flooding event will be covered by insurance.
1. The Cause of the Damage
The most important factor in determining coverage is figuring out what caused the basement to flood. Most homeowners policies cover damage that was caused by a sudden, accidental event, such as a broken supply line or malfunctioning appliance. Most policies do not cover damage that results from neglect or poor maintenance on your part. For example, if you had an ongoing leak that you failed to repair, or if you did not take reasonable measures to insulate pipes in freezing weather. No homeowners insurance covers flooding that comes in from outside, such as from a storm surge or overflowing riverbed. This kind of flood damage usually requires a separate flood insurance policy.
2. What Was Damaged
Depending on what was damaged by your basement flood, two different types of insurance coverage could come into play. The first, dwelling insurance, typically covers damage to your home’s structure. This could mean things such as swollen or warped studs or flooring or wet, soggy drywall. The second type of possible coverage involves personal property insurance. This insurance usually covers water damage to items in your home. For example, soaked furniture or wet electronics would fall under personal property coverage.
3. Your Policy Terms
As always, the ultimate deciding factor to determine insurance coverage is the language of your individual insurance policy. You may have to pay a deductible, and your claim could be subject to certain policy limits. Some insurance companies only cover repairs performed by reliable water damage remediation professionals.
It’s a good idea to review your policy terms periodically so you will be prepared if you experience a basement flood in your Valencia, California home.