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Can Insurers Reject Home Insurance Claims for Flood Damage?

Can My Insurance Provider Reject a Home Insurance Claim for Flood Damage?

Yes, it is possible for your insurance provider to reject a flood damage claim. It all depends on what your policy includes and excludes and how the damage occurs. All homeowners’ comprehensive policies exclude loss or damage which is caused by or resulting from wear-and-tear, gradual deterioration, or any defects in design, materials, or construction.

Because of these exclusions it is incumbent on insureds to maintain their properties by regularly inspecting the buildings and attending to any necessary repairs. If in doubt about the integrity of the buildings, it is recommended that they obtain special advice from an expert such as a reputable building contractor, structural engineer, or an architect, especially at the time when purchasing the premises.

What Can I do to Prevent Flood Damage?

Buy or build your home above the flood line. You can also assess the flow of water on your property and where it drains during a storm. You can build a gutter or drain that follows the natural path of the flow of water. Your goal should be to allow water to flow around the structures on your property without damaging them.

Create a list of regular maintenance checks to perform in your home. The list can include assessing the structural integrity of your windows, doors, roof, gutters, and more. If you observe unusual wear and tear, you can address it immediately. Also check the water-tightness of seals and weather-proofing to prevent flood damage.

It’s important to clear your gutters of any debris before the rainy season. Anything that blocks the flow of water could cause leaks and damage. Remember to check your pipes and geyser regularly too. If you find an issue, rather call in a qualified plumber than trying to fix it yourself.

What if Water is Already Flooding Through?

First, try to find and stop the leak fast and at its source. Next, dry the affected areas. If the leak persists, cover whichever surfaces needed with tarp. Finally, dehumidifying the area by allowing air circulation can also help it dry quicker and prevent mould from forming.

Insurance Expert is a professional when it comes to long-term, short-term, and medical cover in South Africa. He has the collective knowledge of an insurance litigator and actuary with as many years in the South African insurance industry as Lloyd has in London. Have an insurance conundrum? Ask our Insurance Expert and he’ll source the answer from one of the specialists in our panel.

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