The importance of investing in flood insurance has never been more necessary. Floods devastate the homes of millions of Americans each year. They can happen almost anywhere, lasting days, weeks, or longer. Certain states are more at risk for flooding, including Texas, Florida, and Louisiana. If your home is near a river or city, you’re also at a higher risk for a flash flood.
Just one inch of water can cause $25,000 of damage to your home. Every homeowner should consider flood insurance since flooding remains a possibility for any home. Flood insurance brings peace of mind to any homeowner since proper coverage will protect your home and belongings in the event of a flood.
Causes of Flooding
Besides natural disasters, there are multiple reasons why an area may flood, making more people prone to flooding than you might think. Some causes of flooding include:
· Heavy rain that prolongs over several days
· Ice or debris jam can cause a river or stream to overflow into the surrounding area
· Ocean waves coming on shore
· Water control structure failure, such as a dam or levee
Getting Flood Insurance For Your Home
Flood damage is typically not covered under a standard homeowners policy, so extra coverage is necessary. You have the option of purchasing a private or federal flood insurance policy. Private flood insurance may have lower premiums, higher coverage limits, and shorter waiting periods, while FEMA’s NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) flood insurance has greater availability and decreased risk of losing coverage after flood claims.
Some potential drawbacks to private flood insurance include higher deductibles and a denied application if you live in a high-risk area. Disadvantages of FEMA flood insurance include no guaranteed replacement cost and a longer waiting period for coverage to kick in. No matter what you choose, adding flood insurance to your homeowners policy is the best way to be covered in the event of a flood. Flood insurance helps homeowners recover faster after a disaster strikes their home.
What's Covered by Flood Insurance
If a flood damages a home, flood insurance covers both its structure and personal property.
Flood insurance policies typically cover:
· Electrical and plumbing systems
· Carpets and flooring
· Detached garages
· Essential systems, including furnaces, water heaters, and central air conditioners
· Foundation walls, anchorage systems, and staircases attached to the home
· Personal property, including clothing and furniture
What’s Not Covered by Flood Insurance
In addition to eligibility requirements, flood insurance has a number of exclusions. Flood insurance only covers losses that are directly caused by flooding. The following types of damages are usually not covered by flood insurance:
· Most self-propelled vehicles
· Loss of use or access to the insured property
· Property damage caused by moisture, mildew, or mold that could have been avoided by the owner or that cannot be attributed to flooding
· Property and belongings outside of an insured building, such as septic systems, decks, patios, fences, and swimming pools
· Currency and valuable papers
How Much Does Flood Insurance Cost?
The average homeowner will pay around $700 annually on average for a flood insurance policy, according to FEMA. Prices will, however, vary based on where you live, the type of home you own, and other components.
Flood Insurance Cost Factors
Several factors determine flood insurance costs, such as:
· Risk for flooding: Homes in high-risk flood zones may pay more for flood insurance.
· Coverage: The coverage type and amount can affect your rate.
· Age of construction: Older homes may be more expensive to insure.
· Deductible amount: Your flood insurance premium will be lower if your deductible is higher.
· Personal property: The value of the contents in your home, including appliances, furniture, and electronics, influences your rate.
Like homeowners insurance, flood insurance protects both your personal property and home structure. Investing in flood insurance, especially in high-risk areas, is worth it since it will help you and your family recover much faster in the event of a flood.