By Ryan Stueber
As I’m writing this post, the rain is pouring down outside and my backyard is now some cross between and river and a pond. Fun for the kids to splash in, but what happens if this water seeps through into my crawlspace or my basement? What if my roof leaks and damages my home? Will my Home Insurance cover that damage?
Let’s explore a few of the most common scenarios we come across-
Heavy rain causes water to seep (or pour) into my basement or crawlspace
In almost all cases, this will not be a covered claim. Rainwater that has accumulated on the ground and then enters your home is considered a flood, and therefore excluded from coverage on your home insurance policy. The same thing is true of groundwater that seeps into your basement from a rising water table.
How do I prevent/prepare for this? As a rule of thumb, I always recommend to anyone buying a home with a below grade or daylight basement that they not put anything valuable directly on the basement floor for the first couple of winters. Be sure to extend your gutter system away from the house and keep the gutters clean as this will prevent many issues.
If you find that you do have a moisture issue you may want to contact a foundation specialist to assess the situation. They may recommend adding a sump pump or sealing the foundation to prevent further damage.
What about flood insurance? You could purchase a flood insurance policy but if yours is the only house that floods, coverage may still not extend. If you are interested in flood insurance, give us a call and we can help you decide if it is the right solution for your home.
My roof begins to leak, causing damage inside my home-
This one could go either way depending on what caused the leak. If the roof was old and simply deteriorated to the point of failure, the insurance company will likely deny the claim as this is considered a home maintenance issue. If however, there was a wind, ice or snowstorm that damaged the roof and caused the leak, coverage will usually extend.
How do I prevent/prepare for this? Keep your roof well maintained and free of moss. Have a certified roofer inspect and perform any necessary repairs every 3-4 years. Keep trees trimmed back from the house and remove dead or dying trees that are more likely to fall.
A tree or limb falls and hits my roof, allowing water to leak into my home-
Every winter we see quite a few trees fall and hit homes. Fortunately, this is almost always a covered loss and your insurance company will repair the damage to your roof as well as the interior of your home.
Hopefully this article gives you an idea of which rain related losses can be covered by your Home Insurance and how to prepare for and prevent rain related damage to your home. If you have more questions or have a scenario not mentioned above, please reach out to us and we can address it in a future blog.