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Understanding Flood Coverage
We have all seen the pictures of the terrible flooding in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City, Iowa, and closer to home along the Fox and Des Plaines rivers. Our sympathy goes out to these people, and we hope they have insurance to cover at least some of their material losses. And we wonder if we would have coverage if a flood happened to us.
If you don't live near a body of water, you probably don't have to worry about the kind of flooding you are seeing on TV. This flooding occurs when surface water from an external source (such as the Cedar River, Fox River, Des Plaines River, etc.) enters homes and businesses, causing damage. This is how insurers define a flood, and it is almost always an excluded cause of loss on your homeowner's insurance policies. To get coverage for this type of loss, you need to buy a separate flood insurance policy, and there is a 30-day waiting period from the time of application until coverage begins. This is done to prevent a person from securing coverage 10 minutes before the big storm hits. There are other unique nuances to a flood policy. Please contact one of your Bensman Risk Management experts for more information.
If the same heavy rains that cause rivers to come out of their banks and into some houses overwhelm sewer systems and cause the water to back up into your basement, this is not a flood to your insurer -- even if it feels like one to you. This is a sewer back-up claim, and all of the companies represented by The Bensman Group include this as a covered cause of loss, although the amount of coverage varies from company to company.