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  • Writer's pictureAshley Insurance

What to Know About ERIE's Extended Water Coverage

Originally posted in the ERIEsense blog by RaeAnna Barstow on March 14, 2023.

We can’t say it enough: If it can rain (or snow), it can flood. Flooding can happen in a matter of minutes, or it may creep up slowly, but either way it can cause massive amounts of damage. Typically, nature handles excess water by sweeping it away into streams, lakes and rivers or just absorbing it into the ground. But we all know Mother Nature can be fickle, so when she opens the floodgates, it can be detrimental to your home, property and all your belongings.

Unfortunately, most people don't know that their homeowners policy doesn’t cover flooding. What's more, they usually don’t discover that until after a costly loss. Floods are the most expensive and destructive natural disaster in the United States, according to FEMA, and can occur in every state. At Erie Insurance, we’re here to bring you peace of mind, which is why we’ve introduced our Extended Water coverage.

What is Extended Water Coverage?

ERIE’s Extended Water coverage (1) provides protection for your home in the event of a sewer or drain backup, or from flooding such as inland flooding, tidal water, storm surge or mudflow and mudslide. This endorsement can be added to your ErieSecure Home® policy (or bundle) and offers protection for your home, garage or other structures and personal property (2)— including that stuff you’ve stored in your basement. To avoid losing valuables, make sure you know what not to store in your basement, because there are some things even we can’t replace!

Floods are devastating, they can damage homes both above and below ground, as well as displace families for extended periods of time. Extended Water coverage is designed to help cover things like:

  • Basements and other rooms

  • Water backups from sewers and drains

  • Repair and replacement costs for your home and personal property (3)

  • Flood avoidance reimbursement (up to $10,000) (4)

  • Temporary relocation costs, like a hotel or short-term rental (5)

But Why Do I Need Extended Water?

As we’ve mentioned, flooding can happen anywhere, to anyone. Yet your typical homeowners policy doesn't cover it and only a staggering 4% of homeowners actually have flood coverage — as estimated by Milliman, an independent risk management, benefits and technology firm.

Sadly, many people assume since they aren’t in a high-risk area it’s not a needed coverage. But did you know that over 25% of flood claims come from individuals living outside high-risk zones? What’s even more earth shattering is just a single inch of water in a home is estimated to cost over $25,000 in repairs. Quite a hefty bill for such a small amount of water.

With the help of Harris Poll, ERIE conducted a national poll to see just how much water people thought was needed to necessitate replacing baseboards and drywall. In the poll, 53% of survey participants stated 5 inches or more would be needed. Sadly, the truth is only 3 inches of water can destroy baseboards and drywall. The cost flooding and other water damage brings to families can be a major financial strain that can hang over people for years. Our Extended Water coverage is here to ease uncertainties and ensure that in the event of a flood, we’ll be right there to get you back on your feet.

A Little Preparedness Goes a Long Way

Let’s say you live in a new development near a stream. After a few days of steady rain, you become concerned about the rising water and buy sandbags to place around the basement door. The stream floods the neighborhood and still makes its way into your home, despite your attempt to avoid it. Extended Water would provide coverage for the sandbags (4) plus damage to your home and contents. (3)

If you’re expecting a large flood or storm to come through the area, we highly encourage you take some flood safety steps to help protect yourself and your family. As always, your safety is the top priority, and in the event of a flooding disaster, rest easy knowing we’ll be there. Ensure you protect your house — above and below ground — and make sure your coverage is up to date by reaching out to your local ERIE agent today!

Our team of agents at Ashley Insurance is ready to help. Give us a call at 304-927-2175 or get started on a quote here:

  1. Extended Water Coverage endorsement does not satisfy mandatory flood insurance coverage should it be required by your federally regulated lender for your home mortgage or loan. This insurance product is not affiliated with the National Flood Insurance Program. Not available in all states. Currently not available in NY and NC. Expected to become available soon in DC.

  2. Extended Water coverage is not intended to provide coverage for damage caused by leaking or wet foundations or basements, water damage caused by normal wear and tear or other maintenance related damage.

  3. Insurance products are subject to terms, conditions, exclusions, limits, sub-limits not described in this letter. The policy contains the specific details of the coverages, terms, conditions, exclusions, limits, and sub-limits.

  4. Reimbursement for flood avoidance is subject to certain conditions and limitations not mentioned in this letter. Please talk to your ERIE agent.

  5. Additional living expense is subject to terms, conditions, sub-limits and are limited in duration. The cause of the flood, as determined by ERIE, may impact the duration for which living expenses are paid after covered event.

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