When you imagine floodwater affecting your home, you may first think of the main floor. The basement, however, often sees the worst of flooding. This is a significant problem because the basement houses some of the most important mechanical and structural elements in the home. If you’re concerned about the impact of floods on your home’s basement, Muller Insurance takes a look at what you should know to protect your investment.

Understanding Flood Insurance for the Basement

In general, flood insurance addresses damage caused by water that invades the home from outside. This includes overflowing bodies of water, as well as water from storms and spring thaws. Water damage due to plumbing problems or faulty appliances is usually covered by your homeowner’s insurance rather than flood insurance.

Basement Building Coverage

Building coverage is exactly what it sounds like – coverage for the structural elements of your home, including the basement. This part of your policy will cover the components of the basement that make the house safe, sanitary, and functional, including:

  • Foundation
  • Furnace
  • Water heater
  • Circuit breakers and electrical components
  • Tanks for oil, natural gas, and other fuel collection and their contents
  • Stairs and stairways
  • Unpainted drywall and ceilings
  • Insulation
  • Cisterns

Building coverage will also pay for the costs of cleaning up damage. If you’ve made improvements to your basement that are not related to its function, such as creating a family room or bedrooms, these improvements are not included in flood insurance building coverage. You will be responsible for the cost of these repairs.

Flood Insurance Basement Contents Coverage

Depending on the construction of your home, you may also be eligible for basement contents coverage in your flood insurance policy. However, this coverage is unavailable for homes with a basement that is below grade, or below the ground, on all four sides. Even if your basement extends only a foot or two into the earth on all sides, you will not be able to receive contents coverage.

If your basement was built above grade, your policy may cover:

  • Washers and dryers
  • Freezers
  • Food stored in freezers
  • Items stored in your basement

Be sure to clarify exactly what coverage you are eligible for and what your policy includes. You should also keep an accurate inventory of all items kept in the basement. This will help your insurance agent when it’s time to process a claim. If possible, include receipts, serial/model numbers, and other details to support your claim.

Flood Insurance from Muller Insurance

If you’re not covered by flood insurance, don’t wait – policies take 30 days to go into effect, so it’s important to act as soon as possible. To learn more about flood insurance for Hoboken, NJ homeowners, contact Muller Insurance today or call 201-659-2403 to request a free quote now.

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