Did you know that in 2012, Maryland was listed in the Top 10 states for flood claims in the United States, with over $20,000,000 paid in damages? Further, did you know that many standard homeowners’ insurance policies do not cover flood-related losses? Although some policies do cover some water-related damage, they do not cover flood-related losses. So, what’s the difference between water-related damage and flood-related damage? It’s a good question to ask and a common misconception.
Water damage is typically caused by an incident that occurs inside your home. For example, if a pipe bursts or your bathtub leaks you are most likely covered under your homeowner’s policy. Damage caused by water-related natural disasters, however, is covered only by flood insurance.
In insurance terms, a flood defined as the rise and overflow of a body of water onto land that is normally dry; the flooding must also be temporary and affect more than one property. For instance, if your home is on the Chesapeake Bay and the tide flows into your home after a large storm or if water leaks into your home as a result of the ground being oversaturated, the resulting losses would be considered flood damage.
For that kind of coverage you have to purchase a stand-alone flood insurance policy. Adding this type of coverage is a good idea for anyone, especially those who live around the Chesapeake Bay or its tributaries- flood insurance will help you pay for your belongings as well as the structure of your home after a flood. Even though flood insurance isn't federally required, anyone can be financially vulnerable to floods. In fact, people outside of mapped high-risk flood areas file nearly 25% of all National Flood Insurance Program flood insurance claims and receive one-third of Federal Disaster Assistance for flooding. (www.floodsmart.gov)
It is important to note that there is a 30-day waiting period for flood policies, meaning it cannot be added in anticipation of a flood event, but adding this coverage today will ensure that you are covered by the time summer swings around!
Call and speak to an agent today to discuss your coverage and about adding flood coverage to your insurance plan; you’ll be headed towards smooth sailing, instead of a sunken ship!