Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Rain Damage?
Thunderstorms and flooding are the most frequent culprits of home damage worldwide. Did you know that the United States is one of the countries that experience thunderstorms throughout the year? According to the National Severe Storm Laboratory of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Operations, 100,000 thunderstorms occur in the United States every year. Furthermore, 10% of these thunderstorms are severe and cause serious home damage. But does homeowners insurance cover rain damage?
With the rapid climate change happening in the world today, the chances of your homes getting damaged by weather are astonishingly high. And it makes homeowners wonder if, in case their homes get weather-beaten and rain damaged, will the homeowners’ insurance policy cover it.
Storms and Rain Damage
The standard homeowners’ insurance policy has specific terms and conditions regarding rain damage. In effect, a standard home insurance policy doesn’t cover all rain damage caused to homes. It is essential to secure reliable home insurance coverage to ensure your home has full protection against different types of rain damage. So to fully understand what the benefits of a standard homeowners insurance policy are, let’s discuss what protection a standard home insurance policy provides.
Types of Perils Covered by Standard Home Insurance Policy
The standard home insurance policy covers the damages caused to your home and its contents by a covered peril. The perils covered by the standard home insurance policy are the following:
- Hail, wind, or thunderstorms
What Does a Standard Home Insurance Policy Cover?
Standard homeowners insurance policy protects your home in multiple ways. In case of a covered peril, it will protect your home by providing the following:
Dwelling coverage will help you rebuild or repair your main home structures if it suffers from a covered peril.
Other Home Structures Coverage
A standard home insurance policy also covers outside and attached structures to your homes, such as decks, garages, and porches.
Personal Home Belongings Coverage
A homeowner’s insurance policy also covers the contents of your home. It compensates for part of the value of your lost, stolen, or damaged personal belongings.
Liability Protection Coverage
Your home insurance policy protects not only your home structures and belongings but also you and your family members in case of lawsuits. A standard homeowners policy will help you and your family cover the costs of lawsuits resulting from bodily injury or property damage you caused to others. Even the damages or injuries caused by your pets are also covered. But bear in mind that the liability protection does not cover damages and injuries you and your family members will incur.
Additional Living Expenses (ALE) Coverage
Some damages can render your home unlivable. But don’t fret; your homeowner’s insurance policy will provide financial support to aid your additional living expenses while you’re out of your home.
Types of Rain Damages Covered By Standard Home Insurance Coverage
The question of whether your home insurance policy will cover rain damage to your home will entirely depend on the circumstances leading to the rain damage. The standard home insurance policy typically covers these rain and water damages caused by a covered peril:
- Any home damage caused by rain entering your home due to a covered peril like wind or thunderstorm.
- Accidental home damages such as falling trees and broken windows caused by a storm resulted in the entry of rainwater inside your home.
- Sudden roof leaks caused by hail or storms.
- Damages are caused to your home by wind-driven rain resulting from windstorms, thunderstorms, or hurricanes.
- Home damages result from the weight of the rain, ice dam, or snow, such as roof leaks and roof collapse.
- Mold resulted from a covered peril that caused the entry of rainwater into the house, like broken windows or leaky roofs.
- Rain damage resulted from acts of vandalism like broken doors or windows while you’re away from home. However, a standard home insurance policy only covers damages caused by vandalism to unattended homes for less than 30 to 60 days depending on your insurer. If you’re planning to travel for more than 30 days, it’s better to get a vacant home endorsement for your home’s continuous protection.
Rain Damages Excluded From Homeowners Insurance Policy
Does homeowners insurance cover rain damage? Short answer: NO. Under the terms and conditions of a standard homeowner’s insurance policy, some damages to your home caused by water or rain are not covered. It includes:
Gradual onset of rain damage
Rainwater entering through cracks in your home’s foundation or overflowing in egress windows are the typical causes of the gradual onset of rain damage in homes.
A standard home insurance policy doesn’t cover the flooding caused by storms. For protection against flood damages, secure additional flood insurance on top of your home insurance policy.
Rain entering from deteriorated home structure
Rainwater entered your home through already damaged home structures such as damaged roofs or windows that caused damage to your home. Under the terms and conditions of a standard home insurance policy, a home must be in good condition before incidents of storms or hurricanes to qualify for coverage.
Rain damage that developed over time
Home damage that occurred over time, like accumulated rainwater on your roof that slowly dripped into your leaky skylight window.
Rain damage resulting from neglect
A home insurance policy does not cover rain damages resulting from your own fault or neglect. One good example is leaving your windows open, causing damage to your home or belongings. In addition, failing to maintain your home will result in poorly maintained roofs or walls which may cause rainwater to enter your home and cause damage. If the root cause of rain damage to your home is neglect, your home insurance policy will not cover damages arising from it.
As the standard home insurance policy doesn’t cover damages caused by floods, getting a flood insurance policy on top of your home insurance is a no-brainer. Securing additional policies or endorsements on top of your home insurance policy provides solid protection against different perils. Homeowners can purchase flood insurance policies through the National Flood Insurance Program. The flood insurance offered by the National Flood Insurance Program provides the following:
The NFIP covers the structure of your home. It includes:
- Home foundations, walls, and staircases
- Plumbing and electrical systems
- Solar energy devices
- Home fixtures such as cabinets, wall paneling, and bookcases
- Appliances such as refrigerators, dishwashers, and stoves
- Fuel and fuel tanks
- Well tanks and pressure pumps
- Installed carpets and window blinds
- Detached garages
The NFIP flood insurance also covers the contents of your home. It includes:
- Personal assets like clothing, electric devices, and furniture
- High-value such as artworks and collections (coverage up to $2,500)
- Appliances like microwave ovens, washers, dryers, and air conditioners
- Curtains and carpets not permanently installed
National Flood Insurance Program Policy Exclusions
Like the standard home insurance policy, the NFIP also has terms and conditions regarding its coverage and exclusions. Determine whether the water damage is covered or not depends on its cause. The NFIP’s flood insurance covers any damages or losses directly related to flooding. Any excess water on dry land affecting more than two acres of land or properties is considered a flood.
Apart from the water damages not caused by flooding, the NFIP’s flood insurance also doesn’t cover the following:
- Additional living expenses incurred when your home gets damaged and becomes unlivable.
- Properties outside of your homes such as trees, septic systems, swimming pools, landscaping, decks, and patios.
- Precious metals, currencies, and valuable papers such as deeds, mortgages, etc.
- Loss of revenue because of business interruption
- Cars and self-propelled vehicles like boats, snowmobiles, motorcycles, and their parts.
- All personal belongings are kept in the basement.
The Cost of Flood Insurance Policy
According to ValuePenguin, the average cost of flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program is $985 per year. Rates will vary according to different factors such as location, coverage, and risks. Many tend to forego flood insurance, but it is more practical to secure your home with flood insurance with the unpredictable climate changes happening today. According to NFIP, a flood as low as 12 inches can cost you a minimum of $29,000, depending on your home’s size and content. With the continuous change in our climate, the likelihood of your home getting flooded increases each year.
How To File A Rain Damage Claim?
To mitigate your losses in the event of rain damage during a storm, filing a claim on time is essential. Here are the steps on how to file a rain damage claim.
- Contact your insurer and inform them about the rain damage your home suffered.
- Review your policy
- Document the damages. Take pictures and videos of the damage to your home. List all the damages and repairs needed. Check with your insurer before discarding damaged materials or items. Your insurer may need those damaged materials or items to assess the damage.
- Make repairs to the damages needing immediate repair to prevent further damage to your home. Keep receipts of items or services you paid for the repair.
- File your claim and wait for the insurance adjuster to assess the damage.
- Wait for the settlement of your claim.
Flood and Safety Tips During Storms and Hurricanes
- Plan ahead.
- Make an emergency supply kit.
Prepare an emergency supply of medicines, foods, essential documents, and power sources.
- Ensure your valuable belongings are in a safe place.
Store critical personal belongings such as documents, heirlooms, and expensive electronic devices in a safe area away from flood water damage.
- Stay updated on the current weather.
Stay updated with the current weather situation by watching or listening to the news. Watching or listening to the news will provide real-time information about storm warnings and announcements.
- Create an emergency plan with your family.
Discuss your emergency plan with your family. Create a communication plan in case of power outages and evacuations.
Tips On How To Prevent Water Damages To Your Home
Follow these tips to prevent your home from suffering from different damages caused by rain or water.
Regularly check for minor leaks
The most frequent cause of water damage at home is leaking pipes. Ensure that you regularly check all pipes in your home for leaks and damages.
Regularly check if your sump pump is in good working condition
Homes with basements frequently have sump pumps. Ensure your sump pump is working properly to help prevent flooding in your home.
Keep your gutters clean
Debris accumulating on your roof gutters can cause blockage and improper drainage of rainwater. Improper drainage can cause rainwater overflow, which can damage the interior or exterior part of your home.
Regularly inspect your roof
Check your roof inside and out for leaks and damages to avoid rainwater entering your home and causing damage to your home structure and personal belongings.
Know the location of your home’s stopcock valve
A stopcock is a valve that controls the water supply in your home. Knowing the location of your home’s stopcock valve will help you quickly close the supply of water in case of a burst pipe or tap. Closing the stopcock valve will help prevent severe water damage to your home structure and personal belongings.
Routinely check your home for areas of moisture or mold
Moisture and mold may suggest water leaks on your home structure. Checking your home for moisture or mold leads to early detection of structural damage and prevents severe home damage and repairs.
Insulate your pipes.
Frozen water on pipes can cause cracks, leading to water leakage. Insulating your pipes prevents them from freezing during winter.
Set up a water leak detection system
Most water leakage can usually go unnoticed until the damage is severe. Setting up a water leak detection system helps detect water leakage early and prevents severe and costly water damage.
Homeowners insurance coverage for flooding from rain
Water is a very powerful force and that is why it is best to get the right coverage. Getting Homeowners Insurance in Denver, CO or any other state is crucial in the event that your home is devastated due to a flood and any type of rain or water damage. Our team has reliable insurance experts who are ready to help you with your insurance needs. Call us today and we won’t disappoint!