Your homeowner insurance policy may pay for water damage due to sudden or accidental escape of water from broken pipes. Flood insurance pays for damages caused by the temporary rising of a body of water that covers normally dry land. The short answer is “yes.”
Flood insurance is exactly what the name suggests, involving damages due to temporary rising water and flooding. Forty percent of all natural disasters in the United States involve flooding, and flood damage strikes frequently in low or moderate risk areas. Home insurance policies typically do not cover flooding. Whatever your area’s risk level is in Texas—learn about flood insurance protections.
It is possible for flooding to occur in a subdivision far from a large body of water source or creek, simply due to a clog street gutter. Most folks think “flood” and assume a hurricane must be the cause. However, city water pipe bursting, rivers flowing out of their banks, new land development, or a Lake Austin and Tom Miller Dam failure, a community releasing water to relive pressure on a dam, are all common events that can cause a flood situation. Homes near dry riverbeds, in the hill country and along coastal areas are the most susceptible to flooding but water doesn’t follow our assumptions. Areas with unusually long periods of heavy rainfall after drought conditions are also concerns for flooding even though they are not located in a “hazardous” flood zone or next to a creek.
Although there is no specific flood season, most flooding occurs in the US between spring and fall. Flooding is also more likely to occur in areas where seasonal storms are more frequent and where flood-prone topography, such as the hill country, drought conditioned land, or a location along the coast. In Central Texas we have lots of new developments and subdivisions resulting in less land to absorb rainfall and creating more flash flooding events.
A sink overflowing in the home would not be considered a flood. Flood damage is damage to the home as a direct result of a flooding event including rising water. It must rain enough to create either a flooding event or a flash flood. This can happen during a natural disaster or a hurricane that produces heavy rainfall in a short period of time. We are now in peak hurricane season and the potential for torrential rain fall inland and down pours increases toward the end of summer in Texas.
If your property is in a special flood hazard zone or high-risk area your lender may purchase hazard insurance coverage and charge your through your escrow account for coverage. The average cost of lender placed insurance policy is significantly more that the National Flood Insurance Program policy or a typical homeowners policy.
Be prepared for a flood by maintaining flood insurance, reviewing your policy details at each renewal, create a personal property inventory of your personal possessions, make an emergency kit, plan an excavation route, know where to meet in case you are separated.
There is a 30-day waiting period before flood insurance takes effect, so don’t wait. Flood insurance coverage is not limited to properties in a high-risk flood area. It is important to secure flood insurance; because everywhere it can rain or anywhere water pipes exist, it can flood.