Water damage from heavy rain: What insurance pays – what it doesn’t

Water Damage: Floods: What Insurance Pays What and What Doesn’t

If rain or hail damages your apartment, house, or car, you need to be well insured. In what cases does your insurance pay and why do you need elementary insurance in case of damage caused by heavy rains.

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What is heavy rain?

The German Weather Service (DWD) speaks of heavy rain when large amounts of water fall in a short time. It issues warnings when certain threshold values ​​are exceeded, namely rainfall of 15 to 25 l/m² in one hour or 20 to 35 l/m² in six hours. A severe weather warning is issued if the amount of rain exceeds 25 l/m² in one hour or 35 l/m² in six hours.

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Tobias Klingelhöfer is a lawyer and has been working as a lawyer for ARAG for many years. As a guest columnist for FOCUS Online, he informs consumers about their rights and obligations in different life situations.

What does home insurance cover?

In addition to storm damage, residential building insurance also covers fire damage, water damage, storm and hail damage. Consequential damages are usually also insured, for example if rainwater enters the house through a covered roof and damages the walls and ceilings. The insurance covers the expenses that the owner needs to repair the damage to the building.

However, in the case of heavy rains and the resulting flooding, it usually does not happen. But don’t worry: so that you don’t fall from the clouds with the next storm, you have the option of expanding your home insurance with basic insurance. This also pays for damage from floods, backwaters, and snow pressure, among other things.

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Can Anyone Get Basic Insurance?

Basically yes, in areas that are regularly affected by floods, insurance companies check in individual cases whether they insure natural risks.

Does home contents insurance help with damage from heavy rain?

If your house, apartment or basement is flooded by torrential rains and your household items, that is, furniture or inventory, are damaged, your household insurance will only cover it, as well as home insurance, if you have basic insurance included. Because home goods insurers typically include flood damage, e.g. B. also by heavy rains. It is different in the case of tap water damage, for example after a pipe burst. In this case, your insurance company will pay for the damages for you.

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What does elementary insurance pay?

Purchased with your homeowners insurance policy, it can repair or rehabilitate your home or outbuildings, such as a garage or shed, if they were destroyed or damaged by severe flooding.

For example, buildings are drained. If, in the worst case, they had to be demolished, elementary insurance will take care of it, as well as the construction of an equivalent property. If you have to live somewhere else during the repair phase, insurance will pay for it. Even if you have a loss of rental income.

The so-called lag is also a big problem. The sewage system cannot transport the bodies of water and the water finds its own way if little or no precautions are taken; in the least desirable case, it enters the house and spills down toilets and sinks. If it causes damage, elemental damage insurance will cover it if backwater damage is explicitly included.

If you have taken out elementary insurance as a supplement to your household insurance, all the contents of your apartment or house will be replaced, including appliances that have been damaged by the flood in your basement.

Rent reduction in case of water damage

Write to your landlord and lower your rent, easily and securely with the FOCUS online template created by attorneys. More: rent reduction table

How are cars insured against flooding caused by heavy rain and hail?

If the cars are damaged by heavy rains, hail or floods, partial comprehensive insurance pays. Good to know: If there’s a storm warning, you need to find a safe place for your car, so it’s best not to park in a depression or under trees.

If you are surprised along the way, avoid flooded streets and take a detour instead of going through an already full underpass. This protects the vehicle and your insurance coverage. Because in case of gross negligence, the insurance company can reduce your claim and you will only be compensated for part of the damage.

More about insurance

How can companies protect themselves from harm?

A warehouse filled with unusable products is a disaster for retailers. That is why the same applies to companies as to individuals who want to optimally protect their belongings: only with the inclusion of elementary insurance are they optimally protected in the event of heavy rain.

With contents insurance, businesses also protect their assets and supplies, as well as operating equipment and equipment in the office, practice, shop or workshop. Profit loss protection is helpful. This means that companies are in a safe position if they have to interrupt their business or have to stop it for a short time. The insurance covers the operating costs.

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