Friday, November 9, 2012

A hard lesson for victims with flooded houses: standard homeowners policies don't cover flooding

The New York Times has a nuts-and-bolts story about insurance concerns in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, and all of the lessons apply here in Washington.

The biggest one -- and something that we repeat often -- is that a standard homeowners policy does not cover flooding. For that coverage, people typically buy a policy from the federally-run National Flood Insurance Program.

The problem is that unless required to by their lender, many homeowners simply don't get flood coverage. (And even those whose mortgage requires it often later let it lapse.)

The article covers things like who pays for tree removal, will you be reimbursed for living costs if your home is uninhabitable, and will an insurer cover the cost of ruined food when the power fails.