PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The flash floods that hit our area this weekend have some residents bailing out and when all is said and done, they’ll be looking to their insurance companies for help if repairs need to be made. 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan tells us who is covered when a flood strikes, and what you can do to protect your home.

It is often after we’ve experienced large amounts of rain and flooding occurs that most people find that their biggest investment – their home – isn’t insured the way they expected.

Flood insurance is something few people ever think about until nearby water begins to rise. Traditional home insurance polices don’t cover flooding — only water damage claims due to things like a burst pipe or if your roof blows off and rain comes in. That is with one exception, if you’ve paid for additional sewer-back-up coverage, to protect if water or sewage backs up through your sewer pipes.

Flood insurance is the only type of coverage to protect against rising waters. It’s purchased through your insurance agent, but the policy is provided by the federal flood insurance plan.

Here are some things you should know:

– You can get the replacement cost for the structure of your home, but only the current cash value of your possessions.

– Flood insurance is also available to renters.

– No matter who purchases it, there is a 30 day waiting period before the coverage takes effect.

If you have wind damage on your house, some missing shingles, or a broken window or two, your home owners policy will cover it. But you may want to think twice about filing a claim. Your home insurance policy should just be used for catastrophic repairs, such as if the entire roof blew off. Otherwise once you factor in your deductible, you may not really come out ahead, and your rates will most likely go up after filing a claim.


Reported By Jim Donovan, CBS 3

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