Warmer Weather Ahead: Homeowners Should Prepare for Flooding
With temperatures predicted to be above freezing this week in many colder parts of the country, homeowners are advised to prepare for potential flooding as the massive mounds of snow covering parts of the nation begi to melt. Along with the warmer temperatures and melting snow comes the potential for backed up sewers and drains, as well as sump pump overflows. Many homeowners don't realize until it's too late that their insurance policy doesn't cover water damage resulting from backups, unless specifically purchased. Now is the time to make sure your home is prepared before by taking precautions to avoid costly damage.
"Many homeowner policies contain exclusions for water damage to dwellings and personal property as a result of backup of sewers or drains," said Kevin Kaastra, chief marketing officer for Fremont Insurance. "It's important to examine your policy and understand what protection you have, but you should also be proactive and take steps to prevent any damage from occurring whenever possible."
One key consideration to help prepare should be maintenance of systems that can help prevent water damage from occurring. Sump pump systems should be checked for age and working condition, including ensuring that sump back-up systems are installed and maintained. The most effective sump back-up systems are gravity-driven because they are not dependent on an electrical power source in the event of an outage. Vulnerable or perishable personal property susceptible to water damage should be elevated off surfaces such as basement floors and crawl space foundations to limit damage exposure. Cleaning and maintenance of gutters and downspouts as well as sub-surface drainage lines will help avoid ground over-saturation near foundations.
In fact, virtually every homeowner's policy excludes flood coverage. However, if you are in a flood zone, flood coverage is available through the government's National Flood Insurance Program and can be obtained through most agents. We recommend that you consult with your agent to thoroughly assess your needs, evaluate all of your policy coverages, conditions and exclusions and answer your questions.
Source: Freemont Insurance