Flooded House? Insurance Covers Plumbing Problems

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Boy, do we love learning about flooded houses, plumbing mishaps, and insurance claims! Can you tell we are being sarcastic? Without delay, let me take you on a little journey to one of my first showings as a new Keller Williams real estate agent and my first flooded house.

Don’t Let A Flooded House Ruin Your Day.

It was a cute, little Tallahassee house in the Southwood community. Three bedrooms, two bathrooms, wooden floors, and impeccably manicured landscaping. The property was on the market for only 2 weeks before we received one of those phone calls that every Realtor dreads to receive. The master bath sprung a leak and flooded a few of the rooms! We sprung to action and connected the homeowners with a reliable local plumber and worked with the insurance agent to get the house back on the market as quickly as possible.

Major plumbing issues that develop into larger disasters are amongst the most common causes of home insurance claims. In fact, water damage claims are the second most frequent insurance claim. Furthermore, most people want to know the provisions of insurance for plumbing. The first step is to get to know the types of water damage as classified by insurance companies.

Water Damage Classifications:

  • Accidental or sudden discharge
  • Water backup or sewer backup
  • Overflow
  • Flood
  • Storm-related water damage

When it comes down to plumbing problems, most people want to know which plumping issue is covered by their insurance policy. Is it the damage caused by a leaking roof, leaking toilet, or a water leak? The following factors determine the extent to which an insurance company can intervene:

  1. Source of the damage
  2. Insurance policy type
  3. Gradual or sudden water damage

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Gradual Damage:

Most of the time, insurance companies do not cover the gradual damage. This is because it is not easy to compensate for an issue that has been in existence for a while and has recently caught your attention. For example a leak behind a wall or appliance. The following are some of the gradual damage claims that insurance companies may deny:

  • Poor history of home repairs
  • Deteriorated electrical wiring
  • Housing repipes that cause leaks
  • Sewers outside of the structure
  • A deteriorating roof that needs repair
  • Corrosion, mold, or rot
  • Damaged caused by water seeping through the interior or exterior parts of the house
  • Leaking to floors, ceilings, and walls caused by deteriorated plumbing, facets, or pipes

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Mold & Natural Disasters:

  • Some insurance companies allow mold remediation coverage. Check with your insurance provider or agent to make sure that this is the case.
  • Natural disasters that cause water damage and results in poor original insurance coverage. Some insurance companies cover such instances. For example, if a tree falls on the roof of a house and damages the water system causes roof leaks. Then a few weeks after the repair of the flooded house, the home may develop a mold-related situation.

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Tips for Insurance & Claims

  1. Make sure that you keep the records of all the repairs and maintenance checks done by licensed local plumbers over the years. In any event, the insurance company will need this paperwork if you experience any loss due to a flooded house.
  2. Before you sign the contract for any insurance coverage, make sure that you have read all the policies, exclusions, and your duties as a homeowner. This will help you save on time by giving you some insight into the claims process.
  3. Make sure to seek the aid of a reputable Tallahassee plumber to help you in conducting home repairs and annual maintenance. In fact, schedule an annual routine checkup of your home plumbing system.
  4. Select an insurance company that has the best coverage for your needs. Additionally, make sure that you inquire about any other extra coverage that you can add to your policy.
  5. Shop around for insurance.  Although the process can be daunting and time-consuming, do not buy the first policy that sounds good. Spending time selecting the best policy for you can end up saving you time and money in the long run. The last thing you want to do is buy coverage from a company that will make the claims process a bigger headache than it needs to be.

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Never Forget the Flooded House & You Better Not Either!

In conclusion, it is best to sit down with a local professional whether it is a plumber or insurance agent. Don’t wait for a flooded house to have a plumber do a courtesy check if you need something repaired. In addition, speak to a local insurance agent about what is covered on your property. It’s a great habit to update insurance policies every year in the hurricane offseason. If you have any questions or comments please do not hesitate to call our office to speak to a licensed Realtor. We will give you our honest opinion without any kind of sales pitch.

5 Tips To Make Your Home Hurricane Ready

tips for getting your home hurricane ready

Hey, do you know you live in Florida and hurricane season is already in full force? It’s a no-brainer for you and your family to be prepared and make your home hurricane ready. Hurricane season lasts for 6 months, from June 1 to November 30, so it is important to get your structure storm ready.  While some may not feel the need to do so, the past 20 years has taught us to be storm smart. It is important that we in Tallahassee become prepared! Putting some of these simple tips in place will not take a lot of time and will give you greater peace of mind during the chaos that ensues when there is an evacuation order issued.

Why It Is Important to Plan for Hurricanes

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), determines the likelihood that a hurricane will strike our community for each storm. Prepare for hurricanes often bring heavy flooding, winds, and even tornadoes, so don’t assume that you won’t get hit by a hurricane if you don’t live on the coast. “Hurricanes are not just a coastal problem. We will feel impacts from these storms hundreds of miles inland,” says NOAA. If you’re wondering where a hurricane is heading, their website has some awesome tracking tools. We can also see from recent hurricanes and tropical storms what our impact has been and which danger zones make us vulnerable.

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#1 Check the Roof Before the Storm

The roof is the largest opening to your beautiful house. It is very important to keep the interior components safekeeping the roof in great condition. It is vital to make sure that it is checked by a certified roofer. Wind and heavy rains can cause havoc to the roof with its endless torment. State law requires builders to strap a home’s roof to the walls in Florida. If you need some work done, make sure to shop around and look at reviews before hiring a roofer.

#2 Don’t Leave Anything Outside & Trim Trees

Anything from yard adornments, patio and pool furniture, even potted plants can become projectiles during a storm. Gather them up and put everything into your garage. Maintaining trees trimmed around your property is essential. If larger trees need trimming or you have debris piling up around your yard, arrange to have it collected or removed before the storm approaches. Call a Tallahassee licensed arborist if you need a quote or have questions.

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#3 Sand Bags & Towels Are Very Important

Use sandbags even if you do not think the storm will be that bad. Not only do sandbags help with flooding or leaking from sideways rain, they help prevent wind from entering through or blowing water through the door jam. Sand and bags are available free of charge at various locations around Tallahassee which will help make your house hurricane ready. It is also a good tip to place towels around the of windows and doorways. They may help minimize the flood water away from your home when properly placed.

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#4 Take Photos & Videos of Your Possessions

Make a list of your home’s contents. Use your cell phone to take photos or videos to document your personal belongings and the exterior areas of your residence. If you need to file an insurance claim after the storm, this documentation will become invaluable. Lastly, backup all of the video and photos. Cloud services such as Google Drive and Dropbox are free for the first few gigs. You can also upload it to YouTube. Taking this precaution will back it up even if you lose your phone or damage occurs to it while traveling.

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#5 Home Insurance Policies are a Must Making Your Residence Hurricane Ready

Although many of us do not prioritize this as much as we should, look at your policies and coverage yearly. Ask yourself, “what is actually covered? Does my policy cover the entire structure and all of your interior belongings?” 

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Most people only purchase enough insurance to cover their house at the time of purchase. Rebuilding a house gets more expensive each year and many of us make significant improvements that affect the value of our home. There is a chance that 10 years from now your insurance will not cover the price to rebuild it if your coverage remains the same. Determine whether you need flood insurance since this type of coverage on most policies is separate and at an additional cost. Finally, don’t forget to purchase interior contents insurance. This type of coverage ensures everything inside of your house – from your personal belongings to your jewelry. It’s important to understand that right before a major storm hits Florida, the insurance companies stop issuing new insurance policies or making changes to existing policies. If you need to make changes do it now before a major hurricane comes our way. Prepare and have 100% coverage with insurance making your place hurricane ready.

Final Thought On Making Your Home Hurricane Ready

Hurricane season happens every year and it seems that Tallahassee, FL is always in the crosshairs of these storms. Have a plan for you and your family and your home because it is your biggest asset. Do research before hiring a local business to do hurricane repairs. When in doubt give us a call. Our real estate agents can give you some sound advice and local business recommendations.