Policyholder Question on Flooded Basement Insurance Claim
Q. The city where we live experienced a ten inch water main break that flooded our basement with 4 ft. of water. We hired a public adjuster 10 days ago. Now they are backing out saying there are limitations to what they can do. Should we go with the city's insurance? Should we find out what limitations there are with our homeowners policy?
A. Yes, you should contact your insurance company and ask about coverage for this loss. I suspect your previous public adjuster has spoken with the claim department about your loss and they told them it was not covered and thus they backed out. But you need to get that in writing so you have some record of their position on your loss. My guess is that they denied the claim to the public adjuster because it was water that they feel was a flood (from an outside source) which is typically not covered by a standard homeowner’s policy. But again, you need to confirm this as it appears the public adjuster may not have shared all the facts with you.
I would also file a claim with the city's insurance company. If they are self-insured, file a claim with their risk manager. Finally, if by chance you do have a flood insurance policy through FEMA/NFIP and the loss meets their definition of a flood, you need to notify them of the loss and file a claim as soon as possible. There are strict rules with filing a claim with the National Flood Insurance Program if you have a policy. Good luck.
If you have questions regarding any property insurance related issues please call 800.321.4488 or contact us to submit a question to one of our public adjuster or loss assessor experts.