Q: Homeowner’s insurance and water damage: Am I covered?
A: Homeowner’s insurance policy provides protection for many risks associated with your property, such as water damage, fire, theft, or injuries to visitors. However, if the water came into your home from rain water flooding you might not be covered unless you have a flood inclusion in your policy. Because there are a wide variety of homeowner policies available, be sure to read your policy or discuss it with your insurance producer (agent) or insurer to determine exactly what’s covered and what isn’t covered.
Water and mold
Q: Will my homeowner policy cover damage from water and mold?
A: How the water damage occurs determines whether you have coverage under your policy. Damage caused by rust, rot, mold or other fungi generally is not covered by homeowner insurance. Mold is considered to be a home maintenance issue and in most cases it is not insurable. However, there are instances where water or moisture deposits occur because of a covered peril and result in mold. There may be coverage for such losses although the coverage may be subject to a separate dollar limit under your policy. Ask your insurance agent or company about what is covered.
Q: What about ground water seepage or sewer back up?
A: Generally, there is no coverage for ground water seepage. Depending on your policy, there may be no coverage, or very limited coverage, for sewer back up. Consult with your insurance company.
Q: How can I protect my property from mold damage?
A: Mold can be found almost anywhere moisture is present, and it can grow on drywall, wood, carpet, paper and food. Preventative steps you can take to protect your property include:
• Fix plumbing leaks immediately.
• Keep you home’s exterior painted.
• Don’t pile wood or debris in crawl spaces or against the sides of the house.
• Check your home – it should not be completely airtight. A home that can’t breathe will grow mold, especially in attics and other dark areas.
• Have your home inspected if you see evidence of fungus. Contact Mold Eliminators at 702-360-1700!
• Reduce indoor humidity by:
– Venting bathrooms, dryers and other moisture-generating sources to the outside.
– Using air conditioners and dehumidifiers.
– Increasing ventilation.
– Using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing or cleaning.
• Take precautions to prevent condensation on cold surfaces by adding insulation to windows, pipes, exterior walls, roof and floors.
• Don’t install carpeting where there is a perpetual moisture problem, such as bathrooms, or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation.
Q: Since most homeowner policies don’t insure against flooding, where can I find coverage?
A: Flood insurance may be purchased from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
Q: What is a flood zone?
A: Flood zones are designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) based on the risk of flooding. Everyone lives in a flood zone—it’s just a question of whether you live in a low, moderate or high-risk area. You can find out what flood zone your property is in by visiting the NFIP’s Web site or by contacting your insurance agent or company, or your city or county planning department.
Q: I live in a low-risk flood zone. Do I really need flood insurance?
A: You should consider getting flood insurance even if you live in a low- or moderate-risk area. Almost 25 percent of all flood insurance claims come from areas with low or moderate flood risk.
Q: Can I get flood insurance if I’m a renter?
A: Yes. A renter can purchase contents coverage up to $100,000.
Q: Can businesses purchase flood insurance?
A: Yes. Coverage limits for a standard flood insurance policy for a business are $500,000 for the structure and $500,000 for contents.
Q: Will a flood policy cover damage to my car?
A: No. Flood damage to your car would be covered under you auto insurance policy if you have purchased comprehensive coverage.