Does Insurance Cover Flooded Basements?
Insurance can give you peace of mind in case something bad happens to your home. This peace only comes if the insurance actually pays out what you’re owed. Are you sure that your policy will come through when your basement floods?
Most home insurance policies don’t include flood insurance at all unless you specifically have the coverage added in your agreement. Even then, there are usually limits to what they pay. Here’s why you should look closely at your policy – and maybe add some extra coverage to your foundation yourself!
Why Insurance Won’t Always Cover Your Damage
Many insurance policies list coverage for water damage, but you should understand exactly what this means. For insurance purposes, “water damage” often refers to the problems that come from internal water sources, including damage caused by burst pipes or overflowing toilets. These stipulations often do not cover the flooding that comes as a result of severe weather and flooding.
Weaknesses are often labelled as maintenance issues will not be covered either. If the water is entering the basement through a crack in the foundation, the insurance company will most likely categorize it as seepage from an existing problem. This can mean that the issue is a maintenance one, keeping the company from having to make a payout.
If your basement floods because of a major weather event, Ontario has sometimes used disaster assistance programs that will cover costs not included in insurance policies. But this is only for major disasters, and even still, it just covers the bare minimum to get your basement back into shape. There is also an incredible amount of paperwork and red tape involved before you can even get the money.
Preventing Flood Damage
The best way to prevent flooding is to defend your foundation. It will stop the damage from happening in the first place, and you won’t have to deal with the headaches that come with getting insurance payouts. Some cost-effective ways to decrease the likelihood of damage include pointing downspouts away from the foundation, making sure sump pumps are in tip-top condition, and keeping a backup source of power for when the power goes out.
On a larger scale, you can take larger preventative measures to ensure that no moisture can make it to the foundation. One of the best ways is to set up a barrier made of crushed round stone and a weeping tile system. It’s the best, most durable way to ensure that no water can damage your foundation walls.
It could also prevent you from spending more money than you have to. Even if the insurance company does provide comprehensive coverage, premiums have also gone up as a response to an increase in claims. Protecting your foundation with the best solution possible can give you more peace of mind than your home’s insurance policy!