Each year, hundreds of thousands of people experience destruction from flooding. They suffer heartbreak and loss of thousands of dollars in property, as well as irreplaceable keepsakes and photos. As a community manager in the northeast region of the U.S., flooding isn’t something we deal with often, however, this year was different.
This past winter, our region experienced severe weather patterns - there were unexpected thunderstorms, and temperatures fluctuated constantly. Because of this, the snow melted quickly, ice dams formed, and water couldn’t drain correctly, thus causing groundwater damage to many properties. People called me for help, but there wasn’t much I could do.
Although the damage wasn’t extreme, as with any loss, residents want to know how it happened and who is responsible for payment. Unfortunately, because these residents didn’t live in a flood zone, they didn’t think they were susceptible to flooding, and they opted to forego flood insurance. This oversight resulted in their insurance claims being denied because groundwater damage is only covered by flood insurance, not general homeowners’ insurance.
Don’t make the same mistake these homeowners did. If you don’t live in a flood zone, but live somewhere with fluctuating weather conditions, use these four tips to protect yourself and your property.
- Check your coverage.
Because costs are excessive, and deductibles are high, in most cases, HOAs and condo associations don’t get flood insurance unless they are required to do so. Check your documents and have informed conversations with agents to make sure the proper coverage is in place.
- Carefully inspect.
When you’re buying a home, make sure to have the inspector look at the existing conditions and determine the likelihood of flooding.
- Be proactive.
It’s best to be proactive to avoid loss altogether. When it rains, check where the water is going and make sure it’s draining correctly and away from your property. For example, if water is pooling near the foundation, install drains or gutters to mitigate the risk.
- Monitor closely.
After severe weather, make sure to closely monitor your property and assess for damages. If a property isn’t your primary residence, have someone check on your property so you can detect issues early on.