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Homeowners insurance doesn't cover everything
This home in southern Stafford County suffered heavy damage in 2008 when severe thunderstorms swept through the Fredericksburg area.
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Flooding can be caused by everything from storm surges to saturated ground to slow leaks in water pipes. Water can even back up behind storm drains during torrential downpours.
It only takes few inches of flood water seeping into a house to cause thousands of dollars worth of damage. Over the past five years, the average paid flood insurance claim was nearly $34,000, according to the National Flood Insurance Program's website, floodsmart.gov.
Insurance through the national program and from a few private insurers is available to homeowners and renters whether they live in a high-risk area or not. The cost varies depending on how much insurance is purchased, what it covers and the property's flood risk.
Hurricane season officially got under way June 1 and runs through the end of November. There's usually a 30-day waiting period from date of purchase before the policy goes into effect.
Home office: Just because a business is run out of a home doesn't mean that everything is covered under a standard homeowners policy. Someone offering day care in their house, for example, should get liability insurance and those with a lot of expensive office equipment probably needs additional coverage.
"A policy will only cover so much office equipment," Cantrell said. "The standard with us is $5,000. We can cover more as an endorsement, but we need to know."
Maintenance damage: Homeowners need to take reasonable precautions to protect their home from damage. An insurance policy won't cover damage due to lack of maintenance, mold, termite infestation and infestation from other pests, Worters said.
Cathy Jett: 540/374-5407