Minnesota has seen its share of flooding over the past several decades. In August 2007, 17 inches of rain fell over southeastern Minnesota in just a couple of days, causing an estimated $179 million in damages. Just 10 years earlier, rapid spring snow melt combined with heavy rains resulted in flooding that affected more than 23,000 families across 58 Minnesota counties. With this kind of recent history, you might wonder if investing in flood insurance is a good idea. After all, just a few inches of water inside your home could cost tens of thousands of dollars in damages. Continue reading to find out more about flood insurance and how you can protect yourself against water-related losses.
Why Get Flood Insurance if You Have Homeowners Insurance?
Your homeowners insurance provides broad coverage for many different perils, but flooding is not one of them. Read the details of your policy and you will find that it may offer coverage water damages stemming from overflows and accidental water discharge, but not for flood waters that rise over the foundation of your home. For that, you need a separate policy, which is available from the National Flood Insurance Program, or NFIP. This program, which is managed by FEMA, offers coverage to homeowners (as well as contents-only coverage for renters) who live in low, moderate, and high-risk flood zones.
If you live in a high-risk area, your mortgage lender may already require you to have flood insurance. If not, the Insurance Information Institute recommends that you still look into coverage since more than 20 percent of all flood insurance claims come from policy-holders who live in low and moderate-risk regions. One mistake many homeowners make is in assuming that it will never flood somewhere it has never flooded before. However, changes in area land topography, flood prevention measure failures, as well as changing weather patterns can lead to first-time floods nearly anywhere.
At Wheaton Insurance, we never want our customers to be exposed to unnecessary risk. We can help you obtain flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program, although there will be a 30-day waiting period for most new policies. We can also identify other water-related risks you may be exposed to, such as sewer and water backup.
Add a Sewer and Water Backup Endorsement to Your Coverage
Your homeowners insurance may provide coverage for water damages stemming from sudden and accidental overflow and discharge, but it probably excludes coverage for sewer and water backup. During a backup, raw sewage and waste water are forced back into your home. This may occur as a result of a blockage in your pipes, invasive tree roots growing into your drain lines or even an overburdened sewer and storm system that fills up during a rain storm. According to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, this type of incident is among the top five causes of water-related losses in U.S. homes.
Fortunately, you can add sewer and water backup coverage to your policy in the form of an endorsement – usually for no more than the price of a tank of gas. Contact an agent here at Wheaton Insurance for more information and to request a quote for backup insurance.
Do you have coverage for a backup or flood?