The weather is becoming increasingly extreme.
Year after year, many regions of the country are threatened by floods that can cause enormous damage to buildings. Since classic homeowners insurance does not provide any benefits in the event of flooding, homeowners should arrange additional insurance coverage and also cover natural hazard damage.
Floods can occur on many rivers. Especially extreme weather conditions with days of rain can cause even smaller rivers and streams to burst their banks. This can even affect regions that have not previously been classified as “flood zones”.
If the house is flooded, not only the furniture and electrical items inside are damaged, but also the house can suffer enormous damage. For example, the water attacks the fabric of the building after only a short time, and in the case of prolonged flooding, irreparable damage can even occur. If there is no flood protection, property owners must finance the costs incurred out of their own pockets. A family still paying off the loan from their bank is usually overwhelmed by this. It is therefore important to add flood protection to the homeowners insurance policy. Insurance companies offer the natural hazard policy for this purpose, but it is no longer available everywhere.
If the risk of flooding is very high, the insurance company will refuse the contract or demand enormously high insurance premiums, which in turn are not affordable. So as long as the insurance company still offers the elementary protection, it should definitely be taken out.
The benefits of flood insurance
If a house is flooded, the homeowners insurance will kick in immediately, provided that flood insurance coverage is available. In this context, it will, on the one hand, naturally bear the costs of repairing the property. This includes not only the drainage but also the repair of the masonry and other repair and renovation measures. It should be noted here that household contents are generally not insured under a residential buildings insurance policy. A separate household contents insurance policy should be taken out for this purpose, which can also be combined with flood protection if desired.
If the house is uninhabitable during the time of the renovation work, the insurance will cover accommodation in a hotel or guesthouse. Since a flood not only causes damage to the property, but also requires the water to be pumped out, the insurance will of course cover these costs as well.
The same applies to costs that have to be incurred for cleaning up the house. If the flood has caused oil to leak from the house’s oil tank and pollute adjacent properties, the insurance company will also cover these costs. In any case, it is important that homeowners comprehensively document all damage and establish a connection to the flood.
The advantages of flood insurance
The enormous floods in 2013 showed that numerous homeowners were not insured against floods. However, those who were able to provide evidence of appropriate insurance coverage did not have to fear any financial burdens in addition to the psychological stresses that such flooding brings. The insurance company bore the damage and ensured that the buildings could be occupied again in the short term. So homeowners who choose appropriate insurance coverage no longer need to fear floods or extreme weather. However, it is important to opt for flood insurance as early as possible, because many insurance companies have already taken it out of their program. However, those who have already taken out the policy can still benefit from it.
For whom flood insurance makes sense
Just a few years ago, insurance experts advised only a few homeowners to take out additional natural hazard insurance. Only people living in designated flood zones should take out such a policy. However, the extreme weather conditions of recent years have shown that such a subdivision no longer makes sense. Even regions that have not experienced flooding for several hundred years now have to reckon with it. Since natural hazard insurance also provides coverage for damage caused by snow pressure, avalanches and earthquakes, every homeowner should therefore include it in his or her insurance policy. The small additional costs are disproportionate to any damage.
The individual design of the insurance cover
Flood insurance is offered as an elementary insurance as an additional insurance for the residential building or the household insurance. However, individual arrangements are often not possible. In any case, this insurance protects not only against floods, but also against avalanches, landslides or floods. Anyone wishing to insure themselves against these risks should therefore agree the corresponding insurance cover without reservation.