Last week was a harsh reminder that floods are the most common natural disaster .
I wish to dispell 2 myths after speaking with many people who suffered water damage to their property caused by the remains of Tropical Storm Lee.
1. Too many people who had water damage said: “But I am not in a flood zone!” Wrong! Everyone lives in a flood zone. I will repeat – Everyone lives in a flood zone. Albeit some people are at lower risk than others. Remember – low risk does not mean no risk! Flood insurance is available to insure against the risk of flooding.
2. Flood insurance does not cover all water damage. In fact, many of my insureds who suffered water damage in their basements would not have been covered even if they had flood insurance. Notice that the definition of flood in the flood insurance policy is that the water must be surface water. Most of my insureds here in Elizabethtown and Mount Joy had water leaking in the walls or foundations of their basements. Since this is not surface water the flood insurance policy will not respond.
Another thing to remember about flood insurance is that there is limited coverage for basements. Finished basements are a real problem because the flood insurance policy does not cover the improvements to the basement. These 17 items are covered in the basement.
Basement contents coverage is almost nonexistent! Only 3 items of contents are covered. The minimum policy deductible for high-risk zones is $1,000. And the deductible applies separately to building and contents. ((Refer to policy for actual wording))
The majority of my insureds suffered non-insurable losses. All the rain we received caused water to leak or seep through the basement walls and foundations. The only way to manage this risk is to take other non-insurance measures. So get out the Drylock and install a sump-pump with backup.