What every NC business owner should know about flood insurance coverage
If your commercial property takes a hit - whether it’s an office flood caused by a significant storm or restaurant water damage from firefighting efforts and sprinkler systems - you want to get back to business as soon as possible.
Every hour you spend restoring commercial property after a flood emergency is lost revenue and productivity. And the insurance claims process adds more stress to an already challenging situation.
Fortunately, local experts can mitigate the damage, manage the restoration project through to its completion, and help you navigate the insurance process: SERVPRO of NW Charlotte, Lincoln County, Southern and NE Gaston County.
Additionally, SERVPRO is a preferred vendor for many insurance companies. Why? Because adjusters understand our goal is to give our commercial customers the best service possible to get them back up and running quickly. Our professionals provide 24-hour emergency response, quickly identify and mitigate damage, assess the loss, restore the damage, and develop a thorough electronic case file for customers and adjusters.
However, long before a disaster or emergency strikes, business and commercial property owners should understand the ins and outs of their insurance policies so there are no surprises about coverage. Below are some North Carolina Department of Insurance responses to seven commonly asked questions about flood insurance.
What is the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)?
In 1968, the federal government established NFIP. The Federal Insurance Administration, which is part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, administers the program. NFIP makes flood insurance available to property owners in communities that help reduce further flood losses by adopting and enforcing floodplain management ordinances. Property owners must be within a city, township or county that participates in the NFIP by enforcing floodplain management standards. Flood insurance isn’t just for properties in particular flood hazard areas; nearly 30 percent of flood insurance claims are for properties outside floodplains.
Does my policy cover flood damage to my commercial building and its contents?
Standard commercial property policies don’t cover water damage due to flood; however, some carriers offer limited coverage to premium policies or add it to other policies by “endorsement.” An NFIP policy covers water damage loss that results directly from flood.
I covered for sewage backup if I added an endorsement to my policy?
Most commercial property policies don’t cover water damage due to backup of sewer or sump pump; however, many companies will sell this coverage through a separate endorsement or addition to the policy. While silent on sump pump coverage, NFIP policies provide sewer backup coverage when there are general flooding conditions in the area (even if flood water hasn’t touched the property), the flood caused the sewer backup, damage occurs within 72 hours after the flood recedes, and the property value is at least 80-percent.
Is there coverage for the fire damage on my flooded property?
Most commercial property policies exclude flood as a covered cause of loss; however, it gives back coverage for fire and explosion, and in some cases, for theft or sprinkler coverage in the event of a flood. NFIP policies don’t provide coverage for fire or other named perils.
Receding flood waters left debris all over my property. Is debris removal covered?
Most commercial property policies provide coverage for debris removal if a covered peril causes the loss. NFIP policies cover insured debris removal anywhere and non-insured debris only if it’s the insured property. Uninsured debris on the insured’s lawn isn’t covered.
Will insurance cover my lost income if I had to close my business because of a flood?
Most commercial property policies provide business income protection within the policy or by endorsement; however, the coverage only applies to a covered cause of loss. If the policy includes flood coverage, that coverage also applies to business income. NFIP policies don’t cover for loss of use, loss of access, business interruption, additional expense or loss of profits.
Commercial water damage restoration
Regardless of the scope or size of the damage, SERVPRO of NW Charlotte, Lincoln County, Southern and NE Gaston County can respond immediately to commercial water damage emergencies. Our highly trained restoration technicians are employees - not contractors - who use the most advanced water damage inspection and extraction equipment. To learn more, call us anytime at (704) 393-7890 or request help online.