It’s been another long winter and many of us are looking forward to the arrival of spring. But as the cold season begins to wind down and the temperatures start to rise, so to do the area’s lakes and rivers. Snowmelt, run-off and ice jams can cause substantial risk to your home and business.

“Spring flooding is a significant concern, especially for those who live, or do business in a ‘flood zone,’ or near a body of water,” says Blue Line Insurance Agency’s Kristina Vancour. “When the snow melts and ice begins to break away from the rivers and streams, the water can rise fast, sometimes without warning.”

Many people do all that they can to keep water from seeping into their basements, living areas and workplaces, but some often overlook the importance of flood insurance to help offset the cost of water damage.

Homeowners’, renters’ and commercial insurance policies cover the costs associated with a fire and other types of natural disasters, but not due to a flood. That’s where flood insurance comes into play.

“Water damage caused by flooding is not covered by homeowners’ insurance because it’s considered a ‘gradual event’ rather than sudden or accidental,” Kristina notes. “Insurance policies are designed to cover sudden, unexpected and unintended losses, like a fire, lightning strike or a tree falling on your home.”

She does note that there may be times when your homeowners’ policy may cover flood damage, but again it must be a sudden or accidental event. “If a tree falls onto your roof during a rainstorm and causes flooding, this may be considered sudden or accidental. The same can be said for a pipe suddenly breaking and flooding a room, or two.”

Flood insurance is available to anyone who lives in a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Community. If you have a mortgage and live in a high-risk area, your lender may require you to purchase a flood policy.

“For residential properties, the maximum amount flood insurance will pay out on a dwelling is $250,000 and up to $100,000 for its contents,” remarks Kristina.

Since flood insurance is not included in a homeowners or renters’ policy, it must be purchased separately, either through the federal government or a private insurance agency, which can be much more affordable than the NFIP.

Upon purchasing the policy there is a standard 30-day waiting period before a policyholder can file a claim, unless it’s due to a mortgage closing.

If after the waiting period you do experience flood damage, you should file a claim immediately.

“The faster you file a claim, the quicker the insurance company can prepare for your inspection and work with an adjuster to access the damage and begin the recovery process,” Kristina adds.

Talk with Blue Line Insurance Agency now to make sure you are prepared for the unexpected. Visit https://bluelineagency.com/personal-insurance/home-insurance, call 518-523-4321. Policies have different options so contact us for any questions you may have about your New York flood insurance policy.