What the Flood of 2017 Taught us

Southern Illinois was hit with rainfall has high as 11 inches in some areas, over a span of two days. That caused major flooding in the region. Several people were evacuated from their homes by boat in Johnston City, Illinois. Flooding impacted both homeowners and renters. Many of those people who contacted their insurance companies because of damage were shocked when they learned that flooding was NOT COVERED. If you are also surprised that flooding is not covered, it is time to see what water damage IS covered by insurance.

Water damage does not always come from flooding caused by the weather.  There are many small events that can cause water damage.

  • Toilet overflow
  • Dishwasher leaking
  • Broken hose on a washing machine

If you have water damage because you skipped doing maintenance, you may be on the hook for the bill. If you knew about a leak but didn’t get around to fixing it, your insurance may not cover it. Most insurance providers won’t pay for the source of the water damage.  If your broken washing machine caused the problem, your insurance should pay for tearing out and replacing the damaged floor, but not the washing machine.  Are you covered if the sewer backs up into your basement, probably not? If you speak with your agent, there may be something they can do to help you by adding to your policy.

Now is the time to talk with your insurance agent. Your agent will find a policy that best covers you while staying within your budget. Your agent should be able to give you tips on preventing damage too. Here are just a few tips:

  • Inspect all water hoses in and around your home. This includes the ice maker on your refrigerator. Many hoses for your washing machine and water heater need to be replaced every couple of years.
  • While moving a refrigerator, or washing machine, even if it’s just a little bit, check the hose to ensure that it is still properly attached.
  • During the winter, it is common to have frozen water pipes if your home is not properly maintained. You can easily prevent this by insulating the pipes and by also keeping a warm temperature in the home.

Call your insurance agent today to learn about your coverage. You may find that you need to make changes to your policy. Explain your situation to your agent and what concerns you have. Remember, your agent is your friend. They are there to help you.