Carson City, NV - July 09, 2015
With the National Weather Service issuing flash flood warnings in several areas of Nevada over the past few days, the Nevada Division of Insurance encourages consumers to take action and understand flood insurance to protect their property from this hazard. Floods, including flash floods, are one of the top 3 weather-related hazards faced by Nevadans.
“We recommend that homeowners talk to their insurance agent to determine if their property should be covered for flood damages,” said Acting Insurance Commissioner Amy Parks. “Most standard homeowner and business owner insurance policies exclude damage to property from flooding.”
Understand what is covered and not covered in flood insurance:
A flood insurance policy covers “water damage”: (1) flood, surface water, waves, tidal water, tsunami, seiche, overflow of a body of water, or spray from any of these, all whether driven by wind or not; (2) water or sewage from outside the residence premises plumbing system that enters through sewers or drains, or water which enters into and overflows from within a sump pump.
Be aware that damage to a vehicle from flooding is only covered under your automobile insurance policy if you have purchased Comprehensive coverage.
Recent flash flood events have also resulted in damage to property from mudslides or rockslides. Such damage is NOT covered by your home or a flood insurance policy. Damage from mudslides, rockslides and other “earth movements” are only covered under an earthquake insurance policy or endorsement. Earth movement means the sinking, rising, shifting, expanding or contracting of earth, all whether combined with water or not. Earth movement includes but is not limited to earthquake, landslide, mudflow, mudslide, sinkhole, subsidence, erosion or movement resulting from improper compaction, site selection or any other external forces.
How to obtain flood insurance:
Coverage for damage from flood is available via a Flood Insurance policy issued by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) administered by FEMA: www.Floodsmart.gov or call 888-379-9531. You can also call your agent, as they can facilitate with applying for and obtaining a NFIP flood insurance policy. Be aware that there is a 30-day waiting period before a flood insurance policy is effective. Adding an earthquake endorsement to your home policy will ensure coverage for any damage caused by “earth movement” including mudslides.
What to do if there is already flood damage to the property:
Consumers who have been affected by flooding or mud related damage may file a claim with the home or property insurer – even if they do not have flood or earthquake insurance. This may be important because if an area is declared a major federal disaster area, a proof of claim-denial may be required to determine a consumer’s eligibility for federal aid.
Consumers can obtain flood, home, and earthquake insurance guides by visiting the Division of Insurance website. Page 10 of the Flood Guide provides a general comparison of what is covered and what is NOT covered for water-related damage in a standard home policy and a flood policy.
About the Nevada Division of Insurance
The State of Nevada Division of Insurance, a division of the Nevada Department of Business and Industry, protects the rights of Nevada consumers and regulates Nevada’s $11.9 billion insurance industry. The division has offices in Carson City and Las Vegas. In 2014, the Division investigated more than 2,800 consumer complaints and recovered nearly $4 million on behalf of consumers. For more information about the Division of Insurance, visit DOI.NV.GOV or download the Division’s smartphone app NDOI Connect today in the Apple App Store and Google Play.