As Tropical Storm Andrea pays a visit to Connecticut today, it is a good time to review your insurance coverage and how the insurance responds to tropical weather events.
Andrea is primarily a rain event for our area, so the most likely cause of loss will be flooding. For insurance purposes, flood is defined as 3 things:
1) water escaping it's normal boundaries, which was the case with Sandy when the Long Island Sound stretched almost a mile inland.
2) inundation of normally dry land covering more than 2 acres or touching 2 properties, which would be a large puddle forming where there normally isn't one, and
3) mudflow, which is the river of yuck that often accompanies a flood.
To cover your building and contents from this type of loss, you need a flood insurance policy. Even if your mortgage company does not require you to purchase a flood insurance policy, it may be a good idea to buy a flood policy as an estimated 25% of flood damage occurs in areas of low flood risk, known as X flood zones.
Heavy rains often cause basement flooding. Basement flooding is only covered by a flood insurance policy if there is one of the 3 flood events described above in the immediate area of the building. If not, there is no coverage for basement flooding on a flood policy. If there is a flood event in your area, coverage for items in the basement is extremely limited on a flood insurance policy. Please contact The Russell Agency with any questions on flood insurance and one of our agents would be glad to help.
Basement flooding, or seepage, is usually excluded on your homeowner's insurance policy as well. The exception would be that if your basement is equipped with a sump pump or drain, you can purchase a coverage called Back Up of Sewers and Drains that would cover damage if the sump pump or drain failed due to the volume of rain.
Tropical storms can also bring heavy winds and wind damage, but we will save that for another post. If you have any questions or concerns on your coverage, please call us.
The Russell Agency is a full service insurance agency serving Fairfield, Southport, Westport and all of Connecticut.