Does renter’s insurance cover flood damage? Huntsville insurance agent says check your policy

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – After a weekend of heavy downpours led to flash flooding across the Tennessee Valley, many people were dealing with water inside their homes.

For people who rent their home, it can come as a surprise to learn that most renter’s insurance policies do not cover damage to personal belongings from flooding.

Shawn Mertz with Rocket City Insurance Group says most renter’s insurance policies are meant to cover damages to belongings in other types of disasters, such as fires, tornadoes, or thunderstorms. The policies often also include reimbursement if a disaster forces you to seek temporary housing, such as a hotel. However, most policies do not include flood protection.

You can use FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center to see if your home is at risk for flooding. But Mertz says just because you don’t live in a flood zone, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider purchasing a flood insurance policy.

“It doesn’t have to be five or six feet of water like we see on the news when a major river floods,” Mertz said. “It can be as simple as standing water that pools up in your front yard, and backs up into your home. That’s considered flood damage, and it’s not gonna be covered by a standard homeowner [or renter’s] policy.”

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