Flood Insurance Basics
Flooding of your home or business can be a major headache. However, preparing with flood insurance coverage may help pay for repairs to the building and replacement equipment.
What Is Considered Flooding?
For insurance purposes, the definition of flooding differs from the general meaning. To be classified as a flood, the water must affect at least two acres of land or two separate properties. Additionally, the water must come from one of the following sources:
- Overflowing rivers, lakes or other bodies of water
- Accelerated accumulation of surface waters, such as excessive rainfall
If your property is damaged by flooding, you will need separate flood insurance to cover the damage. Typical commercial insurance won’t cover it.
What Does a Flood Policy Cover?
Every policy is unique, but a flood policy will generally cover damage to both the structure and its contents. Make sure the limits of your policy are high enough to replace your items. Most flood policies will not cover other expenses such as loss of use and income interruption. You can purchase excess flood coverage to insure your business beyond the limits of a standard policy. This will increase your limits and may include income interruption, temporary relocation expenses and other costs related to the flood damage.
How Do I File a Claim?
The procedure for filing a claim varies with each company. In general, these are the steps to get the process underway:
Before any damage occurs, make an inventory that lists all contents and the purchase prices.
After a flood, document the damage. Make sure to take detailed photographic or video evidence.
Contact your agent and let them know about the damage. They will arrange for an adjuster to come out.
You may wish to begin cleaning up the water before the adjuster arrives. Mold can begin to grow within 24 hours.
Dealing with a flood event at your business can cause a great deal of stress and tension. Adequate flood insurance and qualified restoration services can decrease anxiety and help you get your business back to normal quickly and safely.