Water Damage Not Covered
In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) released a primer on the difference between water damage covered under a homeowners policy and damage covered by flood insurance. The Institute reported 40% of homeowners think that standard homeowners insurance covers flood damage caused by heavy rain, which it does not. “Hurricane Harvey has, once again, shown that tropical storm systems are often major rain events, rather than wind-related.
This brings strong motivation for everyone to consider flood insurance, even if their mortgage lender does not require it,” said Loretta Worters, vice president of Media Relations with the I.I.I. According to the I.I.I.’s May 2016 Consumer Insurance Survey, only 12% of homeowners have flood insurance nationally, the lowest number since 2010 and down from 14% in 2015. Standard homeowners and renters insurance will cover wind damage from Hurricanes. Flood coverage, however, is excluded and is available in the form of a separate policy from the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and a few private insurers.
The NFIP provides coverage for up to $250,000 for the structure of the home and $100,000 for personal possessions. Replacement cost coverage is available for the structure of a home but only actual cash value coverage is available for possessions. Excess flood insurance provides protection above the NFIP limits. It is available from private insurers for higher valued properties and for those living in a community that does not participate in the NFIP.