Does homeowners insurance cover storm damage? - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Does homeowners insurance cover storm damage?

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Coastal flooding in Scituate, MA Image Courtesy: MGN Online/ WFXT / Twitter Coastal flooding in Scituate, MA Image Courtesy: MGN Online/ WFXT / Twitter

After being hit with a powerful storm on Friday, New Englanders are bracing for another major storm Wednesday.

Once that snow melts in combination with all the rain we’ve had, flooding can certainly pose as a threat.

Flood insurance is something western Massachusetts residents typically don’t think about, but with the recent string of powerful storms, insurance companies said it's not a bad idea to be prepared and to be informed.
John Sweeney of John R. Sweeney Insurance Agency in West Springfield told Western Mass News that if you want to get flood insurance, you can go through an independent agent. 

It’s only required if you live in an area designated as a potential flood zone by FEMA.

Sweeney said what’s covered by your homeowners insurance is tricky, for instance, basement flooding isn’t always covered. 

"[The] flood has to affect two properties, or two or more acres, so once it affects more areas its fine. Basement flooding [is] generally not covered, only certain things are," Sweeney said.
Depending on how the water gets into your basement, you could be covered.
"Wind driven rain would count because the wind is driving rain in. However, if your window got broken and then water got in, that's similar to seepage, that's more of a grey area," Sweeney continued.
Sweeney said with coverage and liability, it's all about assessing what caused the damage.

For instance, if a neighbor’s tree fell on your house during a storm, it could be your policy that has to cover it if you didn't inform your neighbor their tree is unhealthy.
Sweeney said your best bet is being proactive before a storm.
"When there is a storm warning they get eggs and milk, but some things you can do is stop water from coming inside like proper landscaping," Sweeney noted. 
If you have any questions, or are thinking about buying flood insurance, you can always reach out to an insurance agent for more information.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. 

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