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Rain, Rain, Go Away!
April showers bring May flowers…and sometimes uninsured losses! Building damage caused by heavy rain, clogged gutters and storm drains, accumulated water in a crawl space and any other water that originates OUTSIDE of a building is generally excluded on most policies for several reasons.
Flood is defined on most insurance policies as the unusual and rapid accumulation of surface water from any source, natural or otherwise; and is excluded unless you have specifically purchased flood coverage. Most policies also exclude damage caused by continuous or repeated leakage or seepage of water over a period of time, as well as water under the surface of the ground that enters through foundations, basements, walls or floors. Often, policies will require covered damage to the exterior of a building first in order to trigger coverage for interior water damage.
So, how to you minimize the risk from water outside the building causing damage that may not be covered by the association’s insurance policy? Proactive maintenance and risk management! In this case, an ounce of prevention is most definitely worth a pound of cure! Inspect and maintain roofs, gutters and siding regularly to prevent water intrusion issues before they start. Keep gutters and storm drains clear and free of debris that could cause water damage. If you have water in crawl spaces, contact a professional to suggest solutions to manage the water and minimize the risk of building damage. When it rains, make note of accumulating water, and take steps to clear drains or divert water if necessary.
Your association may wish to look into purchasing flood coverage, but it is not always easily available or affordable. Most flood coverage is written through the National Flood Insurance Program, even if your community is not located in a ‘flood zone’ and is generally quite expensive. If coverage is available in the general marketplace, policies usually include high deductibles and premiums.
Rain is a way of life in the Pacific Northwest. It is the price we pay for our beautiful green landscape. With some planning and proactive management, the risk of damage from water can be minimized, and you can look forward to those lovely May flowers!
By Community Association Underwriters (CAU)
2021 Diamond Chapter Sponsor
Written By Diana Kaspar, CIRMS, CIC
40 Lake Bellevue, Suite #100, Bellevue, WA 98005
(800) 228-1930 | www.cauinsure.com