BOSTON — If you’ve experienced flood damage to your home or property after a tornado, severe storms and significant rainfall hit the region on Tuesday, state officials have some information that may help you.
The state’s Division of Insurance assists consumers in “understanding whether their flood damage might be covered,” according to the state’s website.
Homes and Buildings
If you have a separate flood policy, you should report your claim immediately, state officials advise. Flood insurance covers homes, condominiums, apartments and nonresidential buildings, including commercial structures. Your insurance company can determine the coverage in effect at the time of your loss and provide you with the necessary information and forms to submit a claim.
Standard homeowners and commercial business policies do not cover flood damage, even flooding that occurs in areas away from natural water sources like the ocean and rivers. This means that, in the unfortunate event that your home or business has suffered flood damage, residents and business owners without a separate flood policy may need to rely on other assistance to repair or rebuild their property.
You may have some coverage if your policy contains an endorsement, also referred to as a rider, for a sump pump failure or water backup. You can refer to the declaration pages for your policy or your insurance agent or company can assist you in determining whether this coverage has been added to your policy.
Flood or water damage to your vehicle is covered if you have added comprehensive coverage to your auto insurance policy, according to officials. Your homeowner’s insurance policy does not cover your car, even if it was in the garage at the time of the flood. Consumers whose vehicles were flooded should contact their insurance company as quickly as possible to discuss whether they have paid for comprehensive coverage. It is important to keep in mind that, as with flood insurance, this coverage cannot be purchased and applied retroactively to cover existing damage.
Businesses and Crops
The standard Business Owners Policy does not include coverage for flood damage, officials said. Generally, Business Interruption Insurance also will not provide any coverage should your business need to be shut down due to flood damage. However, you will want to discuss with your insurance agent or company whether your particular circumstances might trigger this coverage.
Farmers who have purchased Multi-Peril Crop Insurance should also contact their agent or the U.S. Department of Agriculture to understand what coverage may exist under their crop insurance policy: Crop and Livestock Insurance | USDA.
Consumers looking for more information about flood insurance can visit the Division’s website Consumer Safety and Disaster Information | Mass.gov. Consumers with questions about coverage under their home or auto insurance policies can contact the Division’s Consumer Service Unit at 617-521-7794, and select option 2, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Consumers looking to purchase flood insurance can contact the National Flood Insurance Program at www.fema.gov/flood-insurance or by calling 877-336-2627. Consumers can also consider purchasing private flood insurance. The Division maintains a list of companies licensed to sell private insurance on its website here download (mass.gov).
This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.
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