Does home insurance cover flooded basements?
- A flooded basement is covered by home insurance if the damage is caused by a burst pipe or other hazard named in your policy.
- However, damage that occurs due to lack of proper maintenance is not covered.
- If the water is coming from flooding, sewer backups, or underground seepage, you need flood insurance or separate sewer backup coverage.
- Check out the insider’s guide to the best home insurance companies.
Storms can cause damage to your home, and due to climate change, we are seeing storms happening more frequently. If your basement is flooded, home insurance covers you, but that depends on how the water got into your basement.
Does home insurance cover a flooded basement?
Home insurance protects your home and personal property from damage and provides liability coverage. A flooded basement is covered if it results from a covered event, called insurance risk.
An insurance risk is an event that can damage your home or property, such as theft, fire, or storm. The type of risk coverage you have depends on the type of home insurance you have purchased.
Standard home insurance generally covers the following risks:
- Fire or lightning
- Windstorm or hail
- Falling objects
- Weight of ice, snow or sleet
- Accidental spill or overflow of water or steam
- Sudden and accidental tearing, cracking, burning or swelling
- Sudden and accidental damage due to short circuit
- Volcanic eruption
When a flooded basement is not covered
Damage resulting from improper maintenance is not covered. Floods, earthquakes, government foreclosures, mudslides, updated ordinances, sewer backups and sinkholes are dangers that not be covered by home insurance. These will require additional coverage using a supplemental insurance policy or separate insurance.
Flood damage is not covered by standard home insurance and requires separate flood insurance. Standard home insurance does not cover water damage caused by backflow or sewer lines, but it is available as an add-on endorsement. You should check with your insurer to see if additional coverage is available for back pressure and sewer lines.
Flood insurance is a supplement to your home insurance policy that can cover flood damage. A flood is defined as the entry of surface water into the interior of your home’s structure through existing openings above ground level.
Flood insurance specifically excludes water damage from sump pumps, sewage, broken pipes, rain from an open window, and rain from windstorms, said to Insider Ralph Blust, CEO of National Flood Services.
* Available as an extended service line or sewer backup coverage if not part of the policy
** Flood insurance is available from the NFIP and approved insurers
What about mold?
If mold damage is the result of water damage caused by a covered risk, such as a burst pipe, wind, or a hailstorm, it may be covered by standard home insurance. If mold is not related to a hazard, most home insurance companies will deny mold damage coverage.
If your home has mold from a flood or a sewer backup, you will not be covered unless you have purchased separate flood insurance or have purchased a rider. service line that covers sewer lines.
How to make a claim if your basement is flooded
If your basement is flooded, follow these steps to report and file a claim.
- Take pictures of damaged property and what caused the damage (fire, storm, etc.).
- Contact your home insurance company. Failure to timely notify your insurance provider may result in denial of the claim.
- If the damage is caused by a flood, earthquake, or landslide for which you have separate coverage, contact that insurance provider.