Home Flooding and Renters Insurance

You have rented a new apartment and there is a major leak in your master bathroom—effectively flooding your bedroom and destroying your wardrobe, furniture, and bed. Luckily, you have bought renters insurance, and you are covered, or so you think.  This week, UNO Insurance Agency is here to tell Phoenix Arizona residents how renter insurance policies do and do not work to protect against flood damage in the home.

Does Renters Insurance Cover Water Damage?

In seeking to understand what is and is not covered under your policy, read the terms closely and call to ask questions. Some will provide coverage against water damage from plumbing, radiators, and air conditioning leaks. Many policies will name the terms under which water damage to personal belongings is or is not covered. In addition, the owner of the building usually has insurance to pay for damages and accidents, but this may not pay for your personal items. Check if your policy or the owner’s pays for your relocation and lodging during repairs if your home is inhabitable.

If the water damage was caused by maintenance neglect on the part of the property owner, then your rental insurance company may seek to recoup its costs from them. If something like a pipe in the wall bursts, you can also check if the owner is required to clean and replace your personal items. This may be based on the tenant laws set by your jurisdiction, as well.

Either your insurance or the owner’s will also pay for damage caused to a neighboring unit. When renting an apartment, read the lease carefully to understand responsibility. Be sure to monitor and report any issues with plumbing. If damage was caused by your reckless actions, then that opens another assortment of problems. Investigations may be required.

Living in a Flood Zone

Certain coastal areas or areas near lakes and rivers are at a higher risk for flooding, and more challenging to insure. Most rental insurance policies will not cover damage from a flood caused by a natural disaster, or force majeure, in some legal contracts.  Check if you can get renters insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program.

What to Do After a Flood

After a flood or water damages your apartment, here are the next steps:

  • Report the issue to maintenance immediately and review your policy;
  • Take pictures or video of the incident and damaged items;
  • Protect against mold, as this may not be covered, dry and clean everything quickly, if possible;
  • Clean the walls and cabinets with a mix of bleach and water;
  • Make sure the owner dries the carpet, and
  • Inventory and inspect damaged items.

Be sure to plan and protect yourself. If you seek some free quotes for renters insurance, contact UNO Insurance in Phoenix Arizona for more information!