Are Decks Covered by Flood Insurance?
I was recently speaking at a homeowner’s association meeting in Mantoloking, New Jersey (one of the hardest hit areas in New Jersey) regarding Hurricane Sandy and flood insurance. During the meeting a gentleman asked if flood insurance covers decks. The short answer is that since 1994 the Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP) has specifically excluded coverage for decks. However, according to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) flood adjuster’s manual, stairways and staircases are still covered, if they are attached directly to the insured building. Flood insurance also covers stairways or staircases attached to decks or walkways for the purpose of ingress and egress. Further, if there are two staircases attached to the same deck or walkway, then there is coverage for only one of the staircases. The SFIP allows for payment of steps and a landing. The maximum allowable area is 16 square feet. It is also important to remember that damage to the dwelling caused by a deck tearing away from the structure should also be covered.
About the Author: Christopher W. Gerold is an attorney in Wolff & Samson’s Disaster Recovery Claims Group. Chris represents homeowners and businesses with their Sandy related insurance claims with a special focus on flood insurance. For more information on flood insurance and ways Wolff & Samson can help you with your flood insurance claim, please contact Chris at (973) 530-2061.