Who is responsible for storm damage?

January 4, 2008 8:45:05 PM PST
So what if you experienced damage today or a power outage. Who pays?

Well if there is a financial loss, expect to be told you aren't covered -- but that is often wrong. Let's go over the rules of winter storm loss and who pays.

When it comes to storm damage the rule of thumb almost always applies: If water falls down you are covered by your homeowner's insurance policy.

If water rises, you are not.

So if your roof is damaged by the storm and rain ruins your furniture, homeowners picks up the tab.

But if water from a creek floods your home, then homeowners is out and if you have it, flood insurance picks up the tab.

Flood insurance costs the average Bay Area homeowner $317 dollars a year and generally must be bought 30 days before the event.

The policy's top out at more than $5,000 dollars a year for coast properties and those prone to yearly flooding.

Mudslides are covered by mudslide insurance which almost no ones has because it is cost prohibitive, going for about five to $10,000 dollars a year -- sometimes more.

And that brings us to power outages: usually in a storm the utilities are not responsible for loss.

But if there is negligence, then power companies must reimburse for true costs and losses, like the cost of batteries, perhaps blankets and spoiled food.

Click here to find out about the PG&E Safety Net Program.
Click here to obtain a PG&E Claims Form.
Click here to appeal if PG&E denies your claim.
Click here to find out about FEMA's flod information.