Can I insure my house against typhoon and flood?
Yes, you can insure, not only your house, but also the contents, including your clothes, but only if you have insurance against fire. The typhoon and flood coverage is an extension of the basic fire policy. You will be charged an additional premium, of course.
The term “typhoon” means a typhoon or storm recorded by the PAGASA as such. The term “flood” means the entry of water into the premises insured, from without, due to the inundation of land not usually covered by water by reason of (a) an extraordinary high tide or (b) following a typhoon, cyclone, and/or windstorm or (c) the bursting or overflowing of rivers, reservoirs, canals and the like.
You are required to exercise all ordinary and reasonable precautions for the safety of the property insured.
Technically, you can buy one or the other. I recommend you buy both. Besides, most insurance companies sell typhoon and flood insurance always tied together.
Basically, typhoon insurance covers only wind damage. Loss or damage caused by rain, whether driven by wind or not, is not covered “unless the building insured or containing the property insured shall first sustain an actual damage to roof or walls by the direct force of a typhoon.” The company shall then be liable “for such loss or damage to the building or insured property therein as may be caused by rain entering the building through openings in the roof or walls made by the direct action of such typhoon.” Water damage as a result of doors, windows, transoms or roof lights being left open is not covered, notwithstanding the existence or presence of a typhoon.
What flood insurance does not cover are loss or damage caused directly or indirectly by landslide, subsidence, explosion whether incidental to flood or not, theft whether occurring during or after a flood. The following do not come under the scope of the definition of flood: overflowing, bursting or leakage of water tanks, pipes, gutters, downpipes, and public water supply mains, backing up of sewers or drains.
While we are on the subject, the standard Comprehensive Motor Car policy does not cover “any accident, loss, damage, or liability directly or indirectly, proximately or remotely occasioned by, contributed to by or traceable to, or arising out of or in connection with flood, typhoon, hurricane.” Some companies are willing to cover these perils at an additional premium. Some do not, at whatever additional premium.
Personal accident policies usually do not cover against tidal wave.
There is sometimes a Catch-22. Some companies will cover you against typhoon only if your house is of concrete under galvanized iron roof, or against flood only if your house is located on high ground. It is best to let your insurance agent or broker work things out for you.