7 On Your Side: What you need to know about flood insurance

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Many New Jersey homeowners experienced flooding after the torrential rains over the past few days.

For some, insurance will cover the loss. But it turns out many people are not insured. It's very expensive and not included in your homeowner's policy.

It's how the water does damage that can determine whether or not you are covered for flood insurance.

During the flooding over the weekend for example, 37 cars from a New Jersey car dealership were left underwater.

It took less than nine minutes for Ben Petrasek's car to be submerged in a Shop Rite employee parking lot.

The high school senior is lucky he had comprehensive coverage on his car. He's covered for flood damage for the value of his totaled vehicle.

"At least we know we'll get some money but it's a ten-year-old car so as great a shape as it was in, we're still not going to get that much money for it," said Ben.

Not so lucky are many of his young coworkers who only had collision or liability policies on their cars and won't get a dime from insurance.

"Unfortunately it leaves them without coverage," said State Farm insurance agent Teri DiGrande. "If you don't have comprehensive coverage on your vehicles, you're out of luck."

She says the recent flooding highlights the need for victims to speak to their insurance companies and find the right policy for their homes, cars, and businesses.

Her client's store in Caldwell had water pour into the basement but Lisa Smith had backup of sewer and drain, usually a supplemental add on, already included in her business policy. She's covered for that type of water damage.

Many homeowners who have flood insurance with no supplemental coverage are being told they are not covered because it was the backup which caused their damage, not the rain.

"In this particular case the water was seeping through the drains because the drains just simply could not hold the water because they were backing up," said DiGrande.

She tells her clients make sure they take pictures and video of all the damage and keep an itemized list of everything they're throwing out, because they will need to back up the list with receipts if they're putting in a claim.


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