It’s comforting to know your properties are covered in case of a flood disaster. However, does flood insurance cover your basement? This question has been debated countless times.
Due to the higher risk of damage available in the basement during floods, there is only limited coverage allowed in case the insurance company accepts to cover your basement.
So what exactly is included in the basement by the flood insurance cover? Let’s find out
What is flood insurance?
Flood insurance is prevalent in the US due to the prevalence of floods in the region.
It serves to protect homeowners from the devastating losses that they incur in case of flooding. Many people often believe that as long as they have this cover, all their losses will be taken care of.
But this is not the case. The insurance coverage for your home is usually broken down according to the section of the house and the type of commodities being covered.
What is considered a flood by the insurance company?
A flood can be defined in many ways, but the flood insurance company has specific standards that they use to determine whether a flood has occurred or not.
Thus floods occur when the water level above the ground covers more than 2 acres of what is typically dry land.
Also, it has to cause damage to more than two homes. And among the houses, one should be yours. But that’s not all; the water causing the floods has to be originating from:
- Mudflow- this is a flow of mud due to intense water saturation in the soil, creating a mud river.
- A significant surface runoff of water as a result of an accumulation from various sources, creating an overflow that creates a flood.
- Tidal or inland waters overflow.
However, if the water overflow is as a result of typical sewage burst or from a sump pump, your basement will not be covered. This is because it’s not considered a flood by the insurance company.
What’s covered by flood insurance in the basement?
Flood insurance coverage is meant to cover damages that have been physically caused by floods to your properties in the basement. However, due to the high chances of property damage in the basement, this cover is limited. And this is regardless of your home construction date or even zone.
FEMA– Flood insurance cover in the basement due to seepage or flooding
A basement can be defined as the building section whose floor is under the ground from all sides. At times, it may be partially in the ground or entirely in the field.
In case of damages caused by the floods, it’s only entitled to limited coverage as compared to other sections of the house.
However, despite receiving limited insurance coverage, your basement needs to comply with specific minimum requirements from the National Flood Insurance Program.
What exactly will be covered?
In your basement, various items receive coverage from flood insurance in case of flooding. Some of them are mechanical properties that are necessary for the regular running of the house.
Also, it includes nonflammable basement insulators, floors, and drywall. Other items include the staircase, stairways to the basement as well as the cleaning materials.
However, if there are personal properties, they will not fall under flood insurance coverage; instead, they will receive separate coverage.
Lastly, freezers, washing machines, dryers, and air conditioning are also covered.
What’s not covered?
In the basement, apart from the items mentioned above, other things found in this place during floods will not be covered.
Some of them include personal belonging, which is on another coverage, beds, carpets, chairs, televisions, and couches.
When a flood occurs but the water does not break into your basement, you are safe. However, if the water persists on the ground for a couple of days, weeks, or even months, ground saturation will result.
Due to this, your home, among others, may suffer from ground seepages that lead into your basement.
Such seepages may be intense enough to cause damages to the items you store in your basement, including its walls and floor.
Damages due to seepage, hydrostatic pressure, or even sewer backup are under the standard flood insurance coverage.
However, this is only possible if the drainage, hydrostatic load, or even sewer backup is all a result of floods.
So what exactly is a flood?
It can be defined as a temporary or general condition where two or more acres of dry land is underwater. Sometimes, the street is also a property when there is no reasonable distance from properties.
From the above, you can tell that basement coverage under flood insurance is quite tricky though not impossible.
Thus, you will be able to receive limited coverage for your items in the basement during floods as well as coverage for the basement floor and drywall under the standard insurance policy.
Other damages to your basement properties as a result of flood occurrence will also be compensated. These include losses from seepage, hydraulic pressure, and even sewage burst caused by floods.
Therefore, before opting for flood insurance coverage from any company, ensure you read through their policy. You should know the exact things they will be covering in your basement in case a flood occurs.
With the above information, prepare for floods in advance and ensure all your properties are well covered in case flooding occurs.
Also, take your time and make an inventory of all the things that you own in your house. Meanwhile, ensure they are all located in the right sections of the house where they will be covered when flood damage occurs.
For instance, use the above information to know precisely what exactly will be covered in case it’s damaged while in the basement.
And if the item is not in the list of things that will be covered by the flood insurance policy in the basement, take immediate action and relocate it to a safer place in your house.