Insurance Advice for Flood Victims

Information for those affected by the water main break or home flooding in general.

“I was lucky I only had about 2 to 3 inches,” said a woman affected by Sunday night’s water main break in South Philadelphia.

The woman told NBC10 her home didn’t have much damage and that her insurance will cover any damage she does have due to extra protection on her policy in the event of a flood. Not everyone was so lucky however.

“We had seven feet of water in our basement,” said another affected resident.

Homeowners who live around the corner from where the water main broke tell NBC10 the water was ankle deep one minute and then mid-chest high the next.

“The dryer started to float and we had to get out of the house,” said the resident.

The homeowner tells us that everything in their basement, worth $20,000 to $30,000, was destroyed.

“The furnace, the hot water heater, the whole basement,” said the resident. “A fuse box was submerged so the washer and the dryer.”

None of it unfortunately, will be covered by their insurance.

“They said it’s a flood and it doesn’t fall under their coverage,” said the resident.

Insurance experts say that’s typical of most homeowner policies and it really all depends on your flood risk. If you don’t live in a high risk flood zone, it’s hard to get flood insurance. Therefore most people don’t have it in their homeowner’s policy.

NBC10 discovered that the city will cover all damages related to the water main break, since it was not the fault of any of the residents. Affected residents need to make sure a water department claims adjuster comes to their home to inspect it. The water department has already begun the process of getting the homes clear of water and cleaning them out.

“How long will it be before we can live in the house again?” asked one resident. “We don’t know.”

If your home was flooded and you haven’t had a water department claims adjuster out to your home to inspect it, call the water department.

If your car was damaged by the water and had to be towed, call your auto insurance company and file a claim. Once you do that, your insurance company will directly deal with the water department.

Finally, if your basement was flooded, throw away anything porous if you can’t get it dry in 24 hours or else it will be a breeding ground for mold. Mattresses should be thrown away and upholstered furniture professionally cleaned. Finally, you can disinfect household items with a solution of hot water and a small amount of bleach.

For more information on flood insurance, visit

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