Winter Thaw May Bring Spring Floods

Winter Thaw / Spring FloodWhile many equate flooding with rainy conditions, winter weather and spring thaw can also lead to many flood risks. According to FEMA, areas that receive a lot of snow can see flood risks increase when it begins to melt. This year, the Northeast has seen record snowfall and ice jams– rapid snowmelt and intense rainstorms may follow, all of which lead to high chances of localized flooding.

A Standard Homeowner’s Policy does NOT protect you from flood damage!

Just a few inches of water from a flood can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage. From 2008 to 2012, the average residential flood claim amounted to more than $38,000. Flood insurance is the best way to protect yourself from devastating financial loss. Flood insurance is available to homeowners, renters, condo owners/renters, and commercial owners/renters. Policies provide coverage for buildings and contents. However, you should discuss insuring personal property with your agent, since contents coverage is optional. Typically, there is a 30-day waiting period from date of purchase before your policy goes into effect. That means now is the best time to buy flood insurance.

What’s Covered?

Flood insurance provides coverage for physical damage to your property and possessions. You can use the following list as a general guide to what is and isn’t covered.

Building Property:

  • The insured building and its foundation
  • Electrical and plumbing systems
  • Central air conditioning equipment, furnaces and water heaters
  • Refrigerators, cooking stoves and built-in appliances such as dishwashers
  • Permanently installed carpeting over unfinished flooring
  • Permanently installed paneling, wallboard, bookcases and cabinets
  • Window blinds
  • Detached garages (up to 10 percent of building property coverage); detached buildings (other than garages) require a separate building property policy
  • Debris removal

Spring Thaw FloodPersonal Contents Property:

  • Personal belongings, such as clothing, furniture and electronic equipment
  • Curtains
  • Portable and window air conditioners
  • Portable microwave ovens and portable dishwashers
  • Carpets that are not included in building coverage
  • Clothing washers and dryers
  • Food freezers and the food in them
  • Certain valuable items such as original artwork and furs (up to $2,500)

What’s Not Covered:

  • Damage caused by moisture, mildew or mold that could have been avoided by the property owner
  • Currency, precious metals and valuable papers such as stock certificates
  • Property and belongings outside of an insured building such as trees, plants, wells, septic systems, walks, decks, patios, fences, seawalls, hot tubs and swimming pools
  • Living expenses such as temporary housing
  • Financial losses caused by business interruption or loss of use of insured property
  • Most self-propelled vehicles such as cars, including their parts (see Section IV.5 in your policy)

Basements and Areas Below Lowest Elevated Floor:
Coverage is limited in basements regardless of zone or date of construction. It’s also limited in areas below the lowest elevated floor, depending on the flood zone and date of construction. Including:

  • Basements
  • Crawl spaces under an elevated building
  • Enclosed areas beneath buildings elevated on full-story foundation walls that are sometimes referred to as “walkout basements”
  • Enclosed areas under other types of elevated buildings
  • Make sure to ask your agent for additional details on your basement coverage.

Call us at 401-846-9629 about your Flood Insurance Coverage;
We’re always here to help!
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Some Content: FloodSmart.gov