My flooded basement. What will the insurance cover?

Flooded basement

A flooded basement is covered if it is caused by a peril named in your policy.

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  • Home insurance will cover flooded basements from a burst pipe or named peril.
  • Damage that occurs due to lack of proper maintenance is not covered.
  • Separate insurance is required for water damage caused by natural disasters, sewer backup or underground seepage.

A flooded basement can cause significant financial loss. This is why it is essential to know if your


home insurance

the policy will cover damage to your basement due to flooding.

The short answer is yes, your home insurance will usually cover a flooded basement. However, there are a few exceptions. How the water entered will usually determine whether your policy will cover the damage.

When does home insurance cover flooded basements?

Home insurance protects your home and personal property against damage. A flooded basement is guaranteed if it results from a guaranteed event or an insurance risk.

An insurance peril is an event that can damage your home or property, such as theft, fire or storm. The risk coverage you have depends on the home insurance you have taken out.

Standard home insurance generally covers these risks:

  • fire or lightning
  • Storm or hail
  • Blast
  • riots
  • Plane
  • Vehicles
  • Smoke
  • Vandalism
  • Flight
  • falling objects
  • Weight of ice, snow or sleet
  • Accidental spillage or overflow of water or steam
  • Sudden and accidental tearing, cracking, burning or bulging
  • Frozen
  • Sudden and accidental damage due to short circuit
  • Volcanic eruption

Your home insurance will usually cover a flooded basement caused by a broken appliance, burst pipe, or overflow from a water source such as a swimming pool, tub, or sink.

If the mold damage results from a covered peril such as a burst pipe, wind or


hail

storm, your home insurer can cover it. Most home insurance companies will deny coverage if the mold is not related to a peril.

If your home experiences mold due to flooding from a water source outside the home or sewer backup, you will not be covered unless you have insurance against it. separate flood line or have purchased a service line endorsement that covers sewer lines.

When does home insurance not cover basement flooding?

If the damage is the result of improper maintenance, your home insurance policy will not cover a flooded basement.

Natural flooding caused by heavy rains and damage caused by sewer backups are among the perils that standard home insurance policies typically don’t cover. These will require additional coverage or separate insurance.

Flood insurance policies exclude water damage from sump pumps, sewage, broken pipes, rain from an open window and windstorms, notes Ralph Blust, CEO of National Flood Services.

How to file a claim if your basement is flooded

If your basement is flooded, follow these steps to report and file a claim.

  1. Take photos of damaged property and note the peril that caused the damage.
  2. Contact your home insurance company. Do this as soon as possible because your application may be denied if you wait too long.
  3. Contact this insurance provider if the damage is from a natural flood, earthquake or landslide, for which you will need separate cover.

The best time to prepare for a flooded basement is before it happens. You can avoid major financial hardship by knowing when your policy will cover basement flooding and buying separate coverage to fill in the gaps.

About Raymond A. Bentley

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