Have You Checked Your Insurance Flooding Policy?

Insurance policies can be tricky to understand, we asked a local expert

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Cleanup continues across the Sioux Empire following Thursday night’s flood. And now homeowners are dealing with a new problem – filing claims with insurance companies.

The sound of generators and water pumps could be heard all through neighborhoods near Augustana College, all associated with cleanup after Thursday’s flood. Now, yards are filled with storage containers, debris and boxes of memories drenched in water. But soon after the water receded, the problems for homeowners began to rise.

“I knew I was going to flood,” said homeowner Norma MacArthur. “I knew there were going to be tons of cars out here in the water that would be ruined, and there were.”

MacArthur has lived at her home for 23 years, and she spent all of her Saturday, like others on Covell Avenue, cleaning up.

For other residents, there lies an even greater task ahead; they have to contact insurance companies.

Oscar DeVries owns Insurance Connection and has seen many disasters in his 45 years in business. He said people need to check their policies and go through them very carefully.

“If they have sub-pump failure coverage on their policy, we file the claim and the insurance company gets involved,” said DeVries.

Homes that are built along flooding zones are required to have flood insurance, which is oftentimes not liked by homeowners. In each policy lies a fine print, and different lenders will define “flooding” in different ways.

“If it merely fills your basement because of high ground water that’s not flooding,” comments DeVries. “And that would not be covered under a flood policy.”

MacArthur said she is not very optimistic.

“They don’t cover cars. They maybe cover the landlord to fix it, but he doesn’t fix,” she said.

Regardless, if your home was affected by the flood, this is a great time to look over your policy, and DeVries said perhaps have a change of mindset.

“The first thing, you have to have a mindset ‘when disaster hits’ not ‘if,’ because it will get to most of us somewhere along the line,” he said.