All too often, people are unfamiliar with their homeowner’s insurance policy on water damage. Instead of waiting to educate yourself about your plan when there’s a problem, be proactive and learn about your homeowner’s policy to see how you’re protected from water damage in your Sarasota home.
Sarasota Water Damage vs. Sarasota Flood Damage
Knowing the difference between water damage and flood damage can save you from mistaking one for the other when filing with your insurance company, which could affect the outcome of your claim, and result in not being covered in an area where you should have been. Due to the potential weather threats during hurricane season in Sarasota, it’s important not to confuse the two.
The Cause of the Sarasota Water Damage
Most policies do not cover damages due to a flood, but they will cover other kinds of water damage such as water leaking through a hole in your roof. If the water damage was caused due to neglect on the part of the homeowner not maintaining or repairing the home, then insurance will not cover it. It’s a case-by-case scenario, which means you should know about your water damage policy.
According to FEMA, nearly 25% of all flood insurance claims come from low to moderate flood risk areas, and you are more at risk if your home is in an area prone to flooding or high-risk storms, such as Sarasota. Flood policies provide coverage for damage that is caused by an overflow of water onto land that is normally dry, such as heavy rainfall or a hurricane. Therefore, if the water causing the damage made contact with the ground before entering your home or business, it is considered flood damage.
Will Insurance Cover Repairing the Source of the Water Damage?
Water damage policies generally only cover the damage to the insured structure from the water, not the source of the outflow water. For example, if a burst pipe is the reason for the water damage, the damaged floors and appliances will be covered, but not the cost of repairing the pipe. The reason the water damage occurred in the first place determines what your homeowner’s insurance policy will cover. Insurance agents usually consider an accidental leakage or overflow of water from appliances such as a refrigerator or a washing machine an unexpected event, and will usually cover the cost of the damage.
Also, flood damage is not typically covered in homeowner’s insurance or business owner’s insurance, whereas water damage usually is. If you are buying a home located in a high-risk flood zone, you are required to purchase flood insurance as a precondition for obtaining a federally backed mortgage.
The most important step you can take is to review your home insurance policy before any damage occurs, so if you find your policy insufficient, you can seek other coverage. In areas like Sarasota, it’s vital for renters and homeowners to know their water damage coverage and familiarize themselves with their policy.