Does Your Insurance Policy Cover Flood Damage?

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Tropical Storm Eta brought massive flooding to neighborhoods across South Florida, and now many people are assessing the damage to homes and cars.

But, how do you know if your insurance policy covers flood damage?

Mark Friedlander with the Insurance Information Institute says the best place to start is by looking at your insurance policy’s front page, known as the Declaration page.

"There is something called the declaration page that is the front page of your policy, and it explains your coverage, it explains your deductibles and explains how the claims process works," Friedlander said.

When it comes to home damage caused by flooding, you need a separate Flood Insurance policy.

This policy is offered through FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program, or by private insurers. This type of policy covers property damage to the home or renter’s possessions.

Flood damage to your car or private vehicle is covered under the Optional Comprehensive portion of an Auto Policy.

“You can’t recover from significant water intrusion in a car so that is why that coverage is so important. You can have all the other coverages under your auto, but if you don’t have comprehensive auto, you are not protected for storm damage," Friedlander said.

Friedlander says if your home or vehicle have been damaged, it is a good idea to take photos of the damage and to contact your insurance agent.

"Especially with social distancing right now, and COVID-19 concerns, they may want you to send your pictures instead of sending someone out right away. That’s why it is so important to capture those photos if you can," Friedlander said.

If you want to make an emergency repair you should talk with your insurance agent prior to the repair, and keep receipts for expenses incurred before the adjustment process begins.

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