Flood damage: What’s covered; what’s not?

Courtesy: CBS 13

Courtesy: CBS 13

Now that the heavy rain is over, the focus turns to drying out and cleaning up.

The CBS 13 On Your Side helpline has been getting questions about flood damage caused by Wednesday’s storm.

From flooded basements and cars to leaky roofs and windows, people are asking us – “what’s covered and what’s not?”

Unfortunately, today’s storm also triggered power outages that turned off basement sump pumps, leading to water damage inside.

We did some research and talked with the Maine Emergency Management Agency and the Bureau of Insurance.

Here’s the deal:

  • Flood damage is usually not covered under a typical homeowners or renters insurance policy. For rising ground water damage, you’ll need flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program. Businesses are also encouraged to consider flood insurance. There are estimates that say as little as 6″ of floodwater in your business can cause more than $10,000 in damage.
  • Damage to your home or contents caused by wind or rain coming through a leaky roof or window usually is covered, according to the Bureau of Insurance.
  • Damage to your car may be covered if you have comprehensive coverage. You will want to talk with your insurance company or agent for specific details on that.
Courtesy: CBS 13

Courtesy: CBS 13

The Maine Emergency Management Agency says it often hears from people who are surprised by flooding in Maine, but today’s flash flooding is a reminder that flooding does, in fact, happen in Maine. (Remember last August and October 1996?)

This post is not intended to provide legal advice or guidance on a specific situation. If you have questions, contact your insurance agent.

Jon Chrisos

About Jon Chrisos

Award-winning journalist Jon Chrisos is the investigative and consumer reporter at CBS 13 in Portland. He also anchors weeknights at 5:30. Chrisos is “On Your Side” investigating the stories that make a difference in your life. He’s passionate about helping those who’ve been wronged, exposing government waste, asking tough questions, and uncovering the truth.