Homeowners along the east coast who are slowly picking up the pieces following the devastation caused by Hurricane Irene at the weekend are bracing themselves for a second deluge – in repair costs.
Even though most people have homeowners insurance, those who have suffered damage to their homes resulting from flooding – submerged basements, failed pumps and so on – are likely to find that their insurers will not cover this type of damage.
The typical home insurance policy does not cover flood damage, and with the vast majority of problems caused by Hurricane Irene over the weekend were due to… You guessed it, flooding!
According to the Associated Press:
“Standard home insurance policies will cover some of the costs, such as structural damage if a tree was blown over into a house, or if a window was broken by the wind and rainwater managed to get inside the home. However, in most cases there is no coverage for homes or homeowners possessions when the damage is caused by flood waters. This includes homes that have been flooded out by storm surges and damage where water has seeped into the home through the basement.”
By the time Hurricane Irene hit New York, it had already been downgraded from a category one hurricane to a tropical storm, which meant winds were not as high as before. In New York, along with several other centers such as Vermont and New Jersey, most of the damage suffered was due to heavy rains and coastal flooding.
Compounding problems for homeowners who have been flooded out, a recent poll conducted by the Insurance Information Institute showed that only around 5% of homeowners in the North East have taken out flood insurance.