Many homeowners may believe their home isn’t at risk of flooding if they don’t live near a large body of water. However, flooding is much more common across the entirety of the United States than many people realize. Between the years 1996 to 2019, 99% of all counties in the country experienced a flood. The average cost of those claims came in at just over $50,000. With such a high price tag and ubiquitous risk, some homeowners make the mistake of assuming their homeowners’ insurance will cover the cost.

Does Homeowners’ Insurance Cover Flooding?

The short answer is no. Homeowners’ insurance doesn’t cover the damage caused by rising flood waters invading a home. These policies don’t typically cover any damage that results from external water sources. However, there are several caveats when homeowners’ insurance may cover water damage.

  • Storm damage. Many homeowners’ insurance policies will cover water damage when a storm causes external destruction that allows rain inside, such as when a tree falls on a roof and creates a hole.
  • Vandalism. Similar to the above example, homeowners’ insurance often covers rain damage due to vandalism. For instance, a burglar may break a window to enter a home while the owners are away on vacation. Many policies provide coverage if heavy rainfall damages the home because of vandalism.
  • Sudden or accidental water damage. Flooding isn’t the only source of water damage. Freezing temperatures can cause ice dams and icicles to form. The frequent thawing and refreezing can stress roof shingles and diminish the integrity of the roof. Water damage may abruptly affect the ceilings and walls as a result. Pipes can also freeze and burst when temperatures drop below freezing. Homeowners’ insurance often covers sudden, accidental water damage or damage caused by interior water sources.

Homeowners’ policies don’t typically offer coverage for flooding, gradual water damage, or water damage due to negligence. Some insurance providers offer a flood endorsement for their homeowners’ policies. Individuals can also purchase separate coverage for flood insurance. Contact Windermere Insurance Group to discuss your risks and address any coverage gaps your current flood protections may have.