Many Flooded Basements Won’t Be Covered By Insurance
|By JC Reindl, Detroit Free Press|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Not only is flood damage not covered by standard homeowners insurance policies, but most flood insurance doesn't cover damage to objects in basements such TVs, computers, sofas and refrigerators.
Common federally backed flood insurance will extend to a basement's foundation walls and drywall, as well as certain major appliances, including furnaces, air-conditioners, freezers and washers and dryers, according to
Flooring may be lost
Federal flood insurance also doesn't cover damage to carpeting, wall paneling or floor tile in basements -- regardless of how the water got in.
"So if you've got a finished basement and floodwater comes into the house and damages your stereos and TVs and furniture -- flood insurance does not cover that," said
Federally backed flood insurance will cover ground floor damage, including objects in living quarters. The insurance will pay cash for non-structural objects based on their present-day value.
"So if you've got a 10-year-old television, you're gonna get what a 10-year-old television is worth today, minus any deductible you have chosen," said
Equipment such as furnaces and air-conditioners that are considered structural damage under flood insurance policies are eligible for replacement, regardless of age or current monetary value.
There is better basement coverage available for homeowners willing to pay roughly
That extra policy, depending on the fine print, could kick in for objects in a basement such as TVs and carpeting that wouldn't be covered by regular flood insurance.
It's important to note that homeowners who suffered water damage from sewer backups this week but didn't have an additional policy for a backup may not be completely out of luck.
Towns and cities are inviting residents with flooded basements to file damage claims. Many municipalities have posted instructions on their websites for submitting such claims within the 45-day deadline.
Municipalities can in some instances be responsible for damages that resulted from a backup, particularly if it occurred as a result of faulty infrastructure.
"Every claim will be evaluated on an individual basis," said Warren Mayor
What's covered and what's not
-- What's not covered in a basement by common federally backed flood insurance: Damage to the contents of the basement, such as TVs and carpeting.
-- What can be covered in a basement by flood insurance: Damage to the foundational structure and drywall, as well as equipment including furnaces, air-conditioners, freezers and washers and dryers.
-- Federally backed flood insurance will not kick in for basement damages caused by sewer or drain backups.
-- But homeowners with sewer or drain backups are encouraged to file a claim with their municipality, as the town or city may be at fault. Many municipalities have posted instructions on their website for filing claims.
Average premium for federally backed flood insurance in metro
Federal flood insurance is not available in the following metro
Source: National Flood Insurance Program
Contact JC Reindl: 313-222-6631 or [email protected]. Follow him on
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