As we're in the midst of a wet winter with rain predicted for later this week, I thought it was a good time to share some updates about flood zones and flood insurance. After Hurricane Katrina, the flood zones were re-drawn with the result that many houses that never required flood insurance now do, and often those sellers have no idea their property now requires flood insurance. In fact, I've sold 3 properties in the past year alone that were in flood zones!
This can add a huge additional cost if it's not taken into account from the beginning of the offer process. Therefore, I always recommend checking FEMA's website and taking this into account when considering resale value on a potential property.
And what about current homeowners? We checked in with our neighbor across the street and colleague, Mike Lombard, General Manager of the Bedford office of Baldwin Insurance to share some tips on flood insurance and coverage of water damage. Here are his thoughts -- thanks, Mike!
Here are three of the most common questions I'm asked about flood insurance and coverage for water damage:
If water seeps into my basement from the ground, am I covered? No. This type of water seepage is excluded under the Homeowners Policy. And if the water seepage is not due to a "flood," as specifically described in a flood policy, you will not be covered under a flood policy. Seepage is viewed as a maintenance issue and is not covered by insurance. You should see a contractor about waterproofing your basement.
Does my Homeowners Policy cover me for flood? No. And with the changing weather patterns across the country, it is advisable for almost everyone to consider purchasing flood insurance. About 25% of flood claims come from outside high-risk flood areas. Flood insurance is provided by the federal government, under a program run by the Federal Insurance Administration. In some parts of the country, homes can be damaged or destroyed by mudslides. This risk is also covered under flood policies.
Will my Homeowners Policy cover me if a pipe bursts and water flows all over my floors? Yes. The HO-3 covers you for accidental discharge of water from a plumbing system. You should check your plumbing and heating systems once a year. While you are covered for damage, who needs the mess and hassle?
There are many other things to consider to ensure your home is adequately covered in the event of a flood or water damage, particularly for finished basements and items in the basement where many of us store lots of our stuff. Please visit our website or call us to learn more at 781-275-2114.
Jessica Clark, Realtor | Keller Williams Realty | Team Suzanne & Co. | 978-985-0123