Barbara Anthony, Undersecretary of the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation
Once again, we are getting an epic rainstorm here in Massachusetts, and already-waterlogged residents need to be prepared for another round of flooding. While flood insurance is often the last thing on our minds, these past few storms have reminded many homeowners why coverage for water damage is essential.
Categorizing the damage from flooding is necessary in understanding your coverage. Determining where the water came from can be the defining difference between being insured or left to fend for yourself. A standard homeowner’s policy will usually cover damages from fallen rain, like leaks in the ceiling or walls, as well as basement flooding due to sewer or drain backups.
Most people run into trouble with coverage when damage is caused by rising waters from the ground, the true definition of flooding. Flooded basements due to rising water levels is a case in which you will need special flood insurance that can only be provided by the government through the National Flood Insurance Program. Visit the Division of Insurance’s website for more information about the program.
As the rain continues, the most important step is reading and understanding your policy. If you have questions about your coverage, call your insurance agent before it is too late. For most homeowners, flood insurance will be inexpensive and easy to acquire and if you find yourself with water damage after this next round of rain, you’ll be glad you’re covered.
Many homeowners take a look at this issue only when a storm causes a problem in their home. This recent stretch of wet weather should be a reminder for even those with dry basements this week to check their policies and make sure they have the kind of insurance they feel is necessary for their home.