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4/30/2014 - Are you protected from damage caused by water?

It's essential to learn which insurance policies will cover flood and water damage.

April showers may bring May flowers, but as many homeowners have witnessed, excessive rainfall can cause major problems, particularly during spring when flood risk tends to be the highest. And, in recent years, high water levels have been one of the main causes of homeowners insurance losses.

Noted recently by the Insurance Information Institute, between 2008 and 2012, water damage was the second-most common property insurance claim filed by policyholders. Because there are many ways in which excessive water can lead to damage - such as freezing, spring thaw and overflowing rivers or streams - some people may not be fully clear about whether their residence is protected, or if so, which plan applies.

"Many consumers don't understand what type of water loss is covered, what is not, nor the various types of policies available to them," said Jeanne Salvatore, chief communications officer for the III. "Fortunately, coverage is available so it is important to contact your insurance professional to make sure that you have both the right type and amount of insurance."

A good rule of thumb to follow is that if water is moving in a north to south direction, it's covered by homeowners or renters insurance. But if it's moving in the opposite way - bottom up - then flood insurance is the policy that applies, III noted. Most homeowner's insurance policies don't include flood coverage as standard. Thus, policyholders should be sure to ask their insurer about it if they want protection.

Flood insurance can be affordable and may be even more so thanks to a recent bill that was signed by President Barack Obama.

For more information on this legislation or anything else regarding insurance, please speak to your local Selective agent

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