We’ve recently experienced very high levels of rain in Charleston following the storm impact of Hurricane Joaquin. Roads are still flooded and homes are damaged as water continues to make its way onto properties. Many are left wondering how they are going to pay for repairs. Some have flood insurance while many who are not technically zoned for flood insurance have opted out of obtaining it. We hope you’ll take a moment to better understand why it might be a smart investment for anyone in the Lowcountry.
What Does Flood Insurance Cover?
Insurance coverage for losses caused by water can be complicated and confusing, even for us who deal with it regularly. The general rule of thumb, however, is that wind driven water that causes damage to your house and belongings is generally covered by your wind and hail section of your homeowner’s/renter’s insurance. So, if a window is blown out and rain water is blown inside the wind and hail provisions will generally provide coverage.
On the other hand, if the water is characterized as rising water – as when the tide rises and causes the creek to overflow which then enters your home – this damage may not be covered by the homeowner’s/renter’s policy. In this situation, only flood insurance will likely provide coverage.
Sometimes it’s unclear as to whether the water intrusion was caused by wind driven water, rising water, or both. This is why we would like to stress the importance of obtaining both flood insurance and homeowner’s/renter’s coverage to protect your home and belongings. This is especially true when living in a low lying area subject to flooding because of tides and/or rising water from excessive rain and/or nearby rivers and creeks that are subject to overflowing the banks.
Aside from flood insurance, if you are expecting high levels of water to enter your home, there are some quick steps you can take:
- Identify higher elevation locations near your home and consider moving your car to these locations and away from lower lying areas.
- If you live in a two-story home, move valuables to the upper level.
- Protect your flooring by rolling up carpets and area rugs. It’s less expensive to have them installed again than to purchase new floorings.
- Evacuate. Know when to leave your home and move your family to safety. Listen to mandatory evacuations and follow orders.
We want everyone to stay safe in the Lowcountry and avoid water damage when possible. Check with your insurance agent to discuss what’s right for you, and follow these simple flooding tips. As always, feel free to contact Barrow Law Firm for more information.