Homeowners Submit Weather Insurance Claims After Major Bay Area Storms

LAFAYETTE (KPIX 5) — The heavy rain may be over for now, but for a lot of homeowners the recovery process is just beginning and those filing insurance claims may be in for a few surprises.

It was wet and windy and our week of storms has taken a toll on many Bay Area homeowners

The Vaisnor’s home in Lafayette has been all but destroyed by a toppled tree.

“It came down and crushed about a third of the house,” the Vaisnor family said.

The good news, the damage will likely be covered by insurance.

The bad news is that the insurance adjustor won’t be there until next week.

The Insurance Information Institute doesn’t yet have any details on the surge of claims expected following our recent storms.

But many insurance claims will likely be due to water damage, and Insurance.com’s Laura Adams, says there’s a general rule of thumb for that: “Water from above is covered with a policy, water from the ground is considered flooding and is not covered with a typical policy.”

So damage from a leaky roof or a broken pipe in the home is generally covered under your homeowner’s policy, but for flooding due to rain or swollen creeks, you would need supplemental flood insurance and flooding due to city pipes or sewer back-ups are not necessarily covered by either policy.

And there are exceptions for fallen trees as well. If it falls on your car, auto insurance will only help if you have comprehensive coverage.

If you only have liability, that damage will have to be paid out of pocket.

But if a tree falls on your house, the resulting damage is generally covered.

We spoke with several insurance adjustors who declined to comment. But one adjustor told us that insurers are swamped with claims.

More from Julie Watts
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