Water damage in your basement?
Water can do great damage to your home, including the loss of personal items, and may uncover previously unknown structural issues or deterioration. Even with prompt removal of the water, your home may incur costly damage. Will your insurance company be there in the event of a basement flood? There are several factors that determine what is and what is not covered.
1. Where did the water come from? Most homeowner's policies typically cover damage from water that originates from the top down, such as rain or melting ice. If the water comes from the bottom, such as from the overflow of a nearby river, you will likely need specific flood insurance.
2. How fast did the flooding or water damage occur? A poorly maintained faucet or toilet that slowly leaked, for example, would not qualify for insurance coverage. However, if a pipe suddenly bursts and leaves your basement flooded, this is likely to fall within your coverage limitations.
3. What type of policy or policies do you have? A basic homeowner's policy with dwelling coverage will extend to water damage as described above to your flooring, drywall, and many other structures in your home. Furniture, appliances, and other personal items will probably not be covered. Personal property insurance is likely to cover items beyond your home’s structural elements in the event that your basement becomes flooded.
4. What else do you need to remember? All insurance policies have deductibles and coverage limitations. Read the fine print and consult your insurance company to be sure your home and belongings will be covered.
If the worst happens to your basement, be sure to consult a professional to minimize damage, regardless of the cause or your insurance coverage. Dealing with a basement is no picnic, but with proper cleanup and drying, damages can be reduced to limit your out-of-pocket costs and to preserve the structure and aesthetics of your home.