Do I Need Flood Insurance?
Since homeowners insurance policies rarely include coverage of a flood, you may want to consider buying additional insurance for flooding. If you live in a flood zone you may be required to purchase flood insurance when buying a home and have higher rates due to risk. However, homeowners in low risk areas have the option too. It never hurts to ask “Do I need flood insurance?”
When considering whether to buy insurance, it’s easy to think of the major flood risks caused by elevated river levels, and if you don’t live near a river or body of water, you may not be too concerned. The truth is though, flooding can happen anywhere to anyone (and unfortunately, it does).
For example, flooding can result from rain falling faster than the ground can absorb which is less about location and more about precipitation. If your property is at the bottom of a large hill or cliff, you could receive some fast-moving streams at some point or mudslides directly into your yard and home.
Luckily, you have the option to buy coverage. In fact, as long as your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), you can purchase flood insurance for your home and belongings (renters too). For low-risk areas, homeowners can typically get a preferred or lower rate too. Before you make a decision though, know what your coverage includes and what is does not.
Flood insurance coverage is different than homeowners insurance. Flood insurance won’t completely restore your home to original condition, but will support the essentials like the building structure and foundation, electrical and plumbing, some larger or built-in appliances, some personal belongings, furniture and electronics, carpets, detached buildings and garages (up to a % of property coverage), limited basement damage and debris removal, to name some. In the event that your home is flooded, this coverage will get you back in your home much quicker than homeowners without and with far less financial burden down the road.
What’s Not Covered
A few damages that are not covered under flood insurance include avoidable damage that results in mildew or mold problems, money and valuable papers, trees, fences, decks, temporary housing, most vehicles, etc…
To view a general guide of flood coverage by the NFIP, visit www.floodsmart.gov.
While FEMA does offer support in the event of a proclaimed disaster area (as announced by the state governor or President of the United States) assistance is generally not immediate and must be applied for. Support often comes in the form of a loan to be paid back with interest. In addition, if your home is just one of several that is flooded and not declared a disaster area, you may end up replacing much of your home and belongings yourself.
To meet with an agent to discuss flood coverage for your home or belongings, contact The Accel Group.