Some homeowners may have flooding damage covered by insurance

Some homeowners affected by floodwaters may be able to have insurance cover some of their losses, but it will depend on the type of coverage they had at the time of the flooding.

When floodwaters rushed through Chaseburg about 10 years ago, Brian Axelsen’s house was moved to higher ground.

“(The Federal Emergency Management Agency) came through and helped moved the house up and back,” said Axelsen.

He said he was able to have his home flood-proofed at the time, so he didn’t get flood insurance.

“I didn’t figure I needed it if they flood-proofed my house. I mean, I had been raised almost six feet higher than what I was the first time,” Axelsen said.

If water seeps in from the rain, but it’s technically not floodwater, insurance agent Reggie Rabb said homeowners’ insurance won’t cover it.

“There’s nothing that covers that other than flood insurance. But FEMA would have to define it as a flood,” said Rabb, who works for State Farm.

Rabb said most people don’t have flood insurance unless they’re in the flood plain, and then they’ll only have the dwelling protected.

“Because they have to have it for the lender. So a lot of times they may not have any contents coverage,” Rabb said.

It’s important to have that kind of protection, as well as backup sewer coverage. That will help if the water comes up through the pipe system.

“The water is just finding a way into the house. So those types of claims we are able to cover,” Rabb said.

Axelsen said there may be a chance he just moves on, but if he stays, then he may consider buying flood insurance, especially since he thinks the flooding will only increase over time.

“I think I might. Just for the fact that it’s gonna get worse,” Axelsen said.

Insurance agents recommend homeowners thoroughly document and photograph any damage to submit for insurance claims or to FEMA. Residents are also encouraged to call 211 to report the damage.