Post Flood Appliance Safety and Insurance Commonly Asked Questions
Post-flooding safety and insurance coverage questions abound due to the massive floods here in Colorado, especially when it comes to your high-end kitchen appliances. We can help you understand what must be replaced and what might be able to be repaired, and what your insurance might cover.
Post Flood Safety Tips:
- Never plug in or turn on ANY appliance that has been touched by flood water until it has been looked at by a professional.
- If you decide to repair an appliance, manufacturers recommend that all motors, electrical components and safety controls be replaced, as well as any gas valves for gas appliances.
- Have an appliance technician check the pilot orifice, and replace any valves that were exposed to flood water.
- Refrigerators and freezers are NOT SALVAGEABLE! It is impossible to entirely remove the bacteria-filled water. You don’t want to store food in the appliance once tainted water has permeated the internal components and insulation.
Now, onto Insurance.
Commonly Asked Insurance Questions:
Q: Is flood insurance covered under my homeowners policy?
A: No. Flood insurance is a separate policy.
Q: How do I know if I have flood insurance?
A: Call your insurance agent to check and see if you have flood coverage through their agency. Some, but not all insurance agents can write flood insurance policies. You may have a separate policy through the FEMA National Flood Insurance Program http://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program.
Q: Are my appliances insured though the FEMA National Flood Insurance Program?
A: (Taken from the fema.gov site)
“What is insured under BUlLDING PROPERTY coverage:
The insured building and its foundation.
The electrical and plumbing systems.
Central air-conditioning equipment, furnaces, and water heaters.
Refrigerators, cooking stoves, and built-in appliances such as dishwashers.
Permanently installed carpeting over an unfinished floor.
Permanently installed paneling, wallboard, bookcases, and cabinets.
A detached garage (up to 10 percent of Building Property
coverage); detached buildings (other than detached garages) require a separate Building Property policy.
-from the General Guidance on Flood Insurance Coverage from FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program – Summary of Coverage
In other words, your major kitchen appliances are covered, but the washer and dryer are likely not covered. Fear not, the washer and dryer are more likely to be able to be repaired, and for less than it would cost to repair a dishwasher or stove.
Image courtesy of denverpost.com and the AP
As soon as you’ve determined what is covered and can be replaced, it’s on to the next step of deciding how and when to replace your damaged property. The Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association recommends replacing rather than repairing flood damaged appliances. As a general rule, manufactures do NOT cover flooding under warranty policies. However if you have questions about your warranty, here are the numbers for some major manufacturers:
Five Star 1-800-553-7704
GE Monogram 1-800-444-1845
Hamilton Beach 1-800-851-8900
Hotpoint (GE) 1-800-626-2005
Magic Chef 1-800-688-1120
Sharp Microwave 1-800-237-4277
Tappan (see Frigidaire)
We hope this answers some of the questions you may have about repairing and replacing your major appliances. Here at Specialty Appliance, we would love to help you get your kitchen back to it’s pre-flood glory and assist you in selecting replacements for any and all major appliances. We will work with you to find the make and model that will fit your style and budget (or that of the insurance companies).
Stay safe, stay dry, and shop smarter.