damaged home from flood

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I have lived in my home for 6 years. When I bought the home, one of the biggest selling points was the dry basement. Neither the street I live on or the house had seen flooding in over 35 years. Some of the older homes had "wet" basements because they were built before sump pumps were invented. The water would enter through a drain in the basement. But even when it rained really hard - I never saw a drop in my basement. I have a sump pump and the crock has always been relatively dry. Being a single mom, I still purchased flood insurance "just in case". I dry locked the walls and floors and stuccoed the inside walls. This past October, we finished the basement with drywall and added bedrooms for my kids. Carpet, entertainment center, exercise equipment - the whole deal. This year.....we flooded.
The water table in our town is so high rght now, the water has no where to go. Everyone on my street has been pumping out water for over 5 days - it is going nowhere. My walls on my first floor are cracking. My doors won't shut and worst, we just noticed that the basement flooring is buckling. The water is now coming through the floor in the basement and we see no relief.
My flood insurance gave me a cap of $5,000.00. Not sure if my Homeowners will cover any more of it, but the adjuster said it is doubtful. I still have a Lake in my front yard and a pond in my back yard. Four sump pumps in my basement are keeping the water down low enough to run the furnace and the water heater. All of my neighbors are in similar shape and we are just entering the rainy season.
Has anyone out there ever dealt with this? What do we do? Will our floors and walls crack more? Is it fixable? Should our homeowners insurance cover more than the flood insurance. We are not in a flood zone - so most didn't even have flood insurance. We are all at a loss. Please help.
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Where do you live?
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To answer your point, though, not really.
You may have some recourse with whomever sold you flood insurance that caps at $5000.
Although that plan likely covers only the dwelling and not the contents, but you try and hire a contractor to build you a new home for 5k. Not bloody likely. So - you are UNDER insured.
The rule of thumb in insurance is rising water is not covered, falling water IS. The opposite for flood.
HTH

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I spoke with my insurance company and my flood insurance only covers back up or overflow of sewer and/or sump. Damage from water sitting outside and causing pressure on the walls is NOT covered on any part of my Homeowners Insurance. There is not even a policy on it that I can purchase.
ng_reader wrote:

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Did you buy this policy from a local agent who was familiar with the history of the area?

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Yes - it is a hometown insurance agency that my dad actually worked for when I was a kid. That is how long this guy has been around. I think he might have even gone to school with my parents....
I am going to call them to see if they broker the federal program. My guess is that they don't.
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If it's any consolation, I assume the ground's still frozen where you live. That has to improve over the next week or two. Here (Rochester NY), we had similar problems, but on a much smaller scale. Certain lawns in my neighborhood are now ice skating rinks. The worst ones are those where the owners are stupid and cut their grass too short. Lousy root systems, lousy drainage.

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Look at the federal flood insurance program. You are right, private carriers do not underight flood insurance but they do broker the federal program.
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"chbelfiore" wrote

I just called mine back after reading this. I have better coverage as i stipulated anything a hurricane or flooding can do. I probably pay more too (about 400$ a year, more like 2,000$ deductable). My 'cap' is 145,000$
Good thing I asked for the extra. Could be in your area, it's just not available? I am not in a 'flood zone'. They checked first.
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That's not flood insurance, it's a backup of sewer and drain rider on homeowners. Unfortunately, that's an important distinction.
Flood insurance is specifically for surface water problems, it's a separate policy from your homeowners insurance. Home flood insurance is essentially a government monopoly for ordinary houses (up to 250,000 home value).

There is -- flood insurance. If you aren't in a high-risk flood zone, it's not even a very expensive policy, maybe a few hundred a year. (Unless you're in a community that told the federal government to stick it where the sun doesn't shine -- there are still some communities that refuse to comply with federal flood insurance standards.)
I don't suppose you have it in writing that you requested flood insurance when you insured your house? Backup of sewer & drain is not flood insurance, there's a remote chance you'd have an Errors & Omissions claim against your insurance agent if you could show you specifically asked for flood insurance and the agent didn't either quote real flood insurance.
Disclaimer: I am not your insurance agent, I don't know where you live, and I don't know what policies you have. So this can't possibly be specific advice, it's just general discussion.
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

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Sorry to hear about the mess you're in. This probably looks familiar: http://www.sandusky-county-scrapbook.net/Floods/bellevue.htm
http://www.sandusky-county-scrapbook.net/Floods/floodsSC.htm
http://www.bgsu.edu/colleges/library/cac/acgal0212.html
Apparently, it *is* a flood zone, although the definition may depend on how often it happens. Doesn't really matter, though. What does your homeowner's insurance contract say about coverage?
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only the federal flood insurance program does. Absent that, there's little you can do with your homeowner's policy.
Flood insurance is so inexpensive in a non-flood zone that it's hard to understand why someone would not buy the insurance under the federal program. Those that don't have the federal program have essentially decided to provide for their own expenses after a flood, although they may not have realized it at the time.
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My homeowner's policy covered some serious water damage. But, the neighborhood wasn't flooded. It involved 5 days of outrageous rain, but no flooding of the surrounding neighborhood. It depends on the insurer's definition of "flood", which ***MIGHT*** include a time frame.
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says...

It's fair to say they've retained the risk, but saying they've decided to retain the risk may be going too far -- unfortunately, there really are insurance agents out there who will simply brush off inquiries about flood insurance outside of Special Flood Hazard Areas, rather than helping the customer evaluate the risk and at least quoting the policy.
If a homeowner asked about flood insurance and was told it wasn't available or wasn't needed, I'd say they'd been misled into retaining the flood risk, rather than having decided to retain it.
(When I was an agent, I sold more flood insurance outside SFHA's than in them, because I made sure customers understood their flood exclusions. Being two feet above the theoretical flood plain isn't the same as being on a mountain top.)
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chbelfiore wrote:

You people need to move to higher ground. If you live in a hole you're gonna get water.
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Blattus Slafaly ف ٣ :) ⅞

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If a good portion of your area has the same damage as you perhaps it will be declared a disaster area which may allow FEMA to come in and help out. It is also possible that your state or county may provide financial assistance in the form of grants or low interest loans. Forget about getting anything from your insurance company. Real flood insurance comes from the federal government. I suggest that you try contacting the governor's office to see if any assistance will be available and encourage your neighbors to do the same thing. You could also contact your congressman's office.
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"John Grabowski"

I wonder if mine is 'underwritten' that way? Maybe so?
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This is a common misperception. For practical purposes, if you are within the United States, you are within a flood zone. You may not be in a high-risk flood zone, or Special Flood Hazard Area, such as a known hunderd-year flood plain, but that does not mean you are not in a flood zone.
More likely, you're in a relatively safe flood zone, where flood insurance is very inexpensive. A significant share of flood damage every year is outside the high-risk flood zones -- from the description of your neighborhood's basements, it sounds like a place flood insurance would be a good idea.
The bad news is you can't buy it retroactively for this flood. The good news is you can buy it after this flood is over and have it the next time the waters rise.
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Thank you for the information. My parent's home flooded too. They didn't have flood insurance because they have no sump. My mom called to get insurance and they told her that her basement had to be dry for (3) years before they would cover her...
I will check into the government program.
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