Pensacola and the Florida Panhandle has recently experienced a historic rain event that has caused preliminary estimates of over $60 million in damages. ParsCo Construction has licensed adjusters and is a full service general contractor and disaster service company based in Pensacola. What pains us is that we are fielding calls from many victims of this flood event that don’t have flood insurance and only carry homeowners insurance. So what exactly is the difference?
One of the most common reasons that people make claims on their insurance is for water damage, but what exactly does insurance cover? It depends on what type of insurance you have and what caused the water damage. Of course, it also depends on your specific insurance plan, so you should ask your agent and review your policy to see the specifics and to find out exactly what is covered and what isn’t. In general, however, there are two types of insurance that deal with damage due to water: flood insurance and homeowner’s insurance. Knowing the difference between them and what is covered by each can help you make the right insurance coverage decision for you, as well as help you determine what to do and who to call if and when a water-related emergency does occur.
A standard flood insurance policy, written by the National Flood Insurance Program, provides coverage for damage caused by a flood. Flood is defined as an overflowing of water onto land that is normally dry. This includes damages caused by an overflowing river, or heavy rain seeping into your home. Generally speaking, if the water touched the ground before it entered your home, it is considered flood damage. Flood damage is not covered by homeowner’s insurance, so if your home is located in a flood plain, it would be wise to consider purchasing a flood insurance policy. Unfortunately, many in Pensacola never have needed it because the historic rain event that was experienced was never something anyone could imagine.
Homeowner’s insurance provides coverage for many other types of water damage to your home. Generally speaking, the damage to your home caused by water will be covered by homeowner’s insurance, but whatever caused the damage is not. For example, if a pipe bursts, the damage it causes is covered, but you are responsible for repairing the pipe itself. The extent of your coverage in many situations also depends on whether or not you have performed the necessary upkeep to prevent the accident, as determined by your insurance company. For instance, if you go on vacation in the winter, leaving your house unoccupied and without heat, and your water pipes freeze and burst, your claim may be denied because, theoretically, you could have prevented the accident. If your bathtub overflows, however, you are covered even if it happened because you forgot to turn off the faucet. Sewage backup, on the other hand, is not covered by homeowner’s insurance. Another more common water damage related claim might be wind related. Water damage due to wind damage can be covered.
Water-related accidents are common, and generally sudden and unexpected. Knowing what your policy covers beforehand can be enormously beneficial to you when disaster strikes. If you find water damage in your home, your first step should be to call ParsCo at 850-695-7656. You want to get repairs underway as soon as possible to minimize both the extent of the damage and the cost. In case of emergency, you need a reliable company like ParsCo with the experience to help you through the repair process, from removal of property and storage services through mold prevention or removal and complete property restoration.