Has a pipe burst on your hardwood flooring? Have you been a victim of a house fire? Regardless, your prefinished hardwood flooring has taken a huge hit—and you’re not sure where to turn to replace it. You’re in luck, though. An insurance policy that you already have might just be able to bail you out!
Every insurance provider is different and offers unique coverage plans for your hardwood floors. Below, though, the flooring pros at E Hardwoods & Flooring discuss what policies tend to cover—as well as what they tend to leave out.
What type of coverage you have on your hardwood floor and the amount of payout you can expect to receive depends on the factors involved in your floor damage and the type of policy you have. Before you take out any homeowners insurance, you should discuss what the policy will cover regarding your hardwood floors and under what circumstances.
That being said, there are two main types of homeowners insurance policies:
An HO-2 policy will likely cover your floor against threats such as fire, external impact (airplanes, cars), flooding due to plumbing, or an electrical emergency. Only causes that are on the policy list will be covered.
An HO-3 policy will cover loss or damage from any source that isn’t specifically included in the policy.
If you have to leave your home while your floor is being replaced, your policy may also cover expenses you incur from additional living expenses, such as temporarily moving into a hotel or traveling out of the city.
While your main interest lies in what your policy covers, you will also want to find out—preferably before any damage actually occurs—what the policy excludes and under what conditions.
General homeowners insurance, for instance, usually doesn’t cover flooding without flood insurance being added. Likewise, earthquake coverage requires a specific earthquake policy. Check with your insurance provider to find out what options are available to you for hardwood flooring.
Did damage occur because you let your hardwood flooring’s finish wear through? Were you not diligent in its upkeep? If this is the case, your homeowners insurance probably won’t cover your losses. Its sole purpose is to protect your belongings from things outside of your control—not within it.
Our advice: Take care of your hardwood! Refinishing it regularly will help keep it looking great and holding strong for decades. In addition to that, you’ll also need to sweep up regularly to prevent debris from grinding into the floor and also to clean up spills as soon as you see them. Hardwoods won’t outright disintegrate the second a glass of water is dropped upon them; in fact, with the right finish, they’re quite resilient indeed, provided you don’t let liquid sit.
In addition to different covered events, insurance policies have different ways they pay out should your claim be approved. The two methods below are the primary types.
In this type of insurance, the company will pay for the cost of replacing the flooring with an identical or similar flooring, without factoring in depreciation. According to The Balance, “it allows you to put yourself in the same financial position you were in prior to the loss,” which makes it a great choice for homeowners with pricey floors.
Insurance companies calculate the actual cash value of your floor depending on its current value, not the purchase value. An adjuster will inspect your floor. They will take the purchase price and deduct the depreciation due to age and, possibly, the damage, to come up with a payout.
If you’re reading this for informational purposes—and we sure hope you are—not for damage control ones, you may be wondering what insurance policy can offer the most flooring protection for the least amount of money. For that, we recommend chatting with an insurance agent themselves. Policies are constantly changing, with new offers always cropping up in an ever-competitive market.
Generally speaking, though, the policies that offer less extensive coverage often have cheaper monthly payments. You also may need to make some tradeoffs to get the coverage you need.
Are you looking for the perfect flooring to complete your home design? E Hardwoods and Flooring offers engineered wood flooring, solid prefinished wood flooring, vinyl plank flooring, and more through our eCommerce store.
To find out more about our products or order your flooring, check out the full list of our luxury products online.