If you were asked about states with the most rain, you would probably answer Washington because of rainy Seattle. Or perhaps, you would consider a state with a more tropical and humid climate, such as Florida or Hawaii. And though Arizona wouldn’t be considered a state with the most rain, we definitely see our fair share of precipitation.
Arizonans commonly know that the late summer months often bring heavy rains. While this heavy rainfall is welcome and necessary for our plants and wildlife, our buildings and infrastructure don’t always come out dry. Therefore, even if it doesn’t seem necessary for eight months out of the year, as a homeowner in Arizona, you should carry flood insurance. That is if you want to protect your home during monsoon season.
But do you already have coverage for flood damage? Or what if you don’t flood, but the monsoons discover a leak in your roof? Can you just choose to pay for water damage coverage during the months with a high chance of rain to save costs during dry months? Or can you just add monsoon coverage as an add-on policy?
These are all great questions. And it is wise to get answers before you need to file a claim. So, let’s see if we can help get you some answers!
Does homeowners insurance cover monsoon damage?
You may be wondering if your standard homeowner policy will already cover damages from flood waters. Unfortunately, the straight answer is no. But it’s a good thing you asked because many homeowners don’t find out until after the damage is done that flood damage is not covered under their homeowner’s insurance policy.
So, why doesn’t homeowners insurance cover monsoon damage? Because when flood waters rise, the likelihood that many homes in the same area will see flood damage is very high. Therefore, it is a considerable risk for insurance companies to offer flood insurance because they will likely face times when they are forced to make very costly pay-outs. Frankly, it’s just bad for business. But that doesn’t mean you are just on your own when the flood waters rise. The National Flood Insurance Program was created to help homeowners in this very situation.
What does monsoon insurance cover?
When you need to cover your belongings in the case of monsoon damage, what you are actually purchasing is flood insurance. Flood insurance is only available nationwide through the National Flood Insurance Program managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This is a government-backed program that ensures your home is covered when a natural disaster involving rising water strikes. Therefore monsoon coverage falls under this category. But it is important to note that this coverage does not insure all homes damaged by flood waters. It only covers Arizona homeowners who have purchased coverage ahead of time.
Monsoon (or flood) insurance covers building damage and content damage. Building damage includes foundation, dry-wall, paint, built-in appliances, electrical and plumbing systems, and any other element that is directly tied to the function of the house. Content damage includes items inside the home such as furniture, electronics, removable appliances, and some valuable items. In many cases, flood coverage will also pay for living arrangements during the rebuilding phase.
What does homeowners insurance cover?
So what happens if your home sustains water damages that are not due to monsoon or rising flood waters? In many cases, your homeowner’s insurance will cover this type of water damage; it just depends on the source.
Water damage is covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy if the source was accidental or sudden. For instance, if your home endures rain damage after a large wind storm, your home insurance policy will likely cover the repairs. Or, if a pipe bursts in your wall and floods your bathroom, this instance should be covered.
The only water-related damage, aside from flooding, that homeowners insurance will not cover is if it can be proven that you were negligent, such as allowing a faucet to leak and drip for months without repair.
If you carry sufficient homeowners insurance and also purchase flood insurance backed by the NFIP, then your home should be insured for any water-related damage.
How do I protect uncovered items?
In some cases, you may have personal items that are not covered under your homeowner’s insurance or flood insurance. For instance, valuable property that exceeds $2500 will not be replaced under the NFIP. Additionally, flooded cars in your garage do not fall under flood insurance coverage. To ensure that these belongings are also taken care of in water-damage scenarios, you may need to carry separate insurance or add-on policies.
How do I know what policies to carry?
Just as you have to carry separate policies for health insurance, life insurance, car insurance, etc., you need individual insurance coverage for homeowners insurance and flood or monsoon insurance. But don’t get anxious about ensuring you have every scenario accounted for. It can be extremely overwhelming to handle it all on your own, and you already have enough to take care of running your household. Our team at Independent Insurance Brokers Arizona specializes in insurance policies, and we can help.
We do not sell our own insurance but search over 40 carriers for the best policy that will meet your individual needs. When you speak with a member of our team, we will ask about your current coverage and belongings to ensure that all of your property is covered should a monsoon strike your Arizona home.
Don’t get caught in a flood of insurance woes without a life-raft. Let us help you today.