Skip to main content
24-Hour Emergency Response
800 622-6433
24-Hour Emergency Response
877–778–6731

Does Commercial Property Insurance Cover Rain Water Damage?

Do you know if your insurance covers rain-related water damage? If not, there’s no time like the present to find out, even if you’re not in a flood plain. Why?

Like Maryland, many areas throughout the U.S. have seen above-average rainfall over the last year. And with summer still going strong, more severe weather may continue to make headlines across parts of the country in coming months.

And the fact is that most types of insurance policies don’t cover common rain-related damage that can leave your business with hefty cleanup bills.
 

Defining “flooding”

When you think of flooding, you probably think of a stream, river or lake overflowing its bounds and causing damage to surrounding areas and buildings.
For insurance companies, however, it’s not that simple. Most insurance companies consider any type of surface water—including rainwater that has hit the ground—as flooding. Most insurance policies also include a flood damage exclusion. That means you will likely have to foot the bill, if water from rain gets into your business location.

3 key steps to limiting damages

If you’re concerned about the potential costs of a rain-related cleanup, flood insurance is always an option but most likely too expensive to justify unless you’re in a flood plain. So what can you do? First, it’s a good idea to check with your insurance broker to verify whether or not your policy has flood exclusions so you know what to expect, if you do face damages. On top of that, here are three things you can do to prepare your building:

1) Address potential incursion areas—Flooding typically happens fast, and so there’s a good chance you won’t be able to take quick defensive measures once the water starts flowing. That’s why it’s important to think ahead about where flooding is likely to occur. For example, businesses commonly keep important documents, servers and other important equipment in basements. Consider the contents in an area and what would happen if they were damaged, and then either move anything important to a new area or take steps to protect it.

2) Check your drains—Make sure the drains around your building are kept free and clear of debris so they don’t clog and lead to pools and flooding when heavy rain comes.

3) Consider a sump pump—If you know you have problem areas that will end up under water, keep a sump pump on hand and make sure it stays in working order.

Remember to stay safe

Many people don’t realize that flooding from rainwater may be contaminated with any number of toxic substances. Once rain hits the ground and starts flowing over and through ground cover, streets, sidewalks and building contents, however, it can pick up chemicals and organic matter that are best avoided. That’s why it’s important to keep people safe and out of flooded areas until they are properly cleaned up. And if you are unsure about what might be in the water or you don’t have the resources to quickly clean and dry the area, then it’s a good idea to pull in professional help.

About the Author: Matt Coyle
Matt is the Regional Director Business Development at Interstate and has over eleven years' experience in the restoration and reconstruction industry. He has extensive experience working with schools, property management companies, as well as municipalities. Matt currently oversees Interstate's Western regional sales teams.


Sources:

http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/10/us/may-wettest-us-month/
http://www.weather.com/news/climate/news/el-nino-outlook-strong-possible-may2015

Related Articles: