1. You Have No Coverage For Water Backup And Flood
Flood, of course, is excluded from all Colorado Renters Insurance policies. That’s mostly because large floods are so destructive that they arguably should be handled at the government level, rather than by private companies who have to maintain loss reserves. Entire cities can be destroyed. That’s why the government sells flood insurance through the NFIP, and that’s why if you don’t have a flood insurance policy, you’re not covered.
Water backup of sewers, drains, and toilets is also not covered under the standard renters policy. However, there’s a very affordable endorsement for that. It’s often a difference of about ten dollars a year to endorse on coverage for water backup. This is doubly true if you have young children, who seem to love to put things in the toilet and see if they go down. Cleanup from a toilet backup can be expensive and disastrous. The coverage is available, and everyone should have it.
2. You Keep Using That Word Flood…
and I do not think that it means what you think it means!
So there’s a flood exclusion in your policy, and you’re worried about what that means when a pipe breaks, or when the sprinklers go off. The word “flood” does not mean what you think it means. In fact, in insurance, it has a very specific definition, “water moving along, through, or under the ground.”
Water seeping through your basement walls? Probably not covered. Neighbor upstairs decided to test his sprinklers with a lighter, “just to make sure they work?” Probably covered. In the latter example, even though the water came from your neighbor’s sprinklers and turned your apartment into a fish tank, that’s not a flood.
Broken pipes are covered. Damage from the guys above you moving out and plugging their sinks because they hate your landlord is likely covered. You get the idea. All floods are water, but not all water damage is flood damage.
3. What’s Your Water Backup Limit?
So you have a water backup endorsement. Smart move. What’s the limit? How much does it cover? Is it the same as your personal property coverage limit? In most cases, it’s far less than your personal property coverage limit. But you need to know what the limit is.
While having the side benefit of making the coverage very affordable, limits lower than your personal property limits on water backup are feasible because these losses are generally fairly small and well contained within a bathroom, for example. This isn’t the type of loss that impacts an entire house.
4. When The Storm Is Coming Is Not The Time To Buy Flood Insurance!
Can you imagine the number of policies that would be written if everyone just bought flood insurance as soon as a storm got a name, or as soon as it was headed to their area? Can you imagine the number of policies that would immediately be cancelled as soon as claims were paid and the storm was not a threat?
That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works.
Insurance only works when policies remain in force. Buying a policy knowing that you’re about to have a serious loss not only breaks the math and annoys the actuaries (You don’t want to tangle with an angry actuary, he will find a mathematical way to bring about your doom!). It also prevents policyholders who buy insurance the way it’s intended from being properly serviced. So don’t do that.
Besides, you can’t do that. With some exceptions for home closings, your flood insurance policy will likely not be effective until thirty days after you’ve bought it and paid for it. Which solves that small human nature problem quite neatly.
If you have questions on your Aurora, CO renters insurance or if you need to add water backup – or need a policy because you don’t have one, just call (800)892-4308 or click to get covered - whether you need Aurora renters insurance quotes online or coverage anywhere else!
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Photo Credit: DVIDSHUB Flooding in Minot CC BY 2.0