Many homeowners believe that because their home has never flooded before, they don’t need to worry about flood insurance. However, according to a FEMA report, 99% of counties within the U.S. were impacted by a flooding event between 1996 and 2019.
It could only be a matter of time before you experience flood damage in your home. However, beginning a flood insurance policy can ease the stress and expense of this event significantly.
We’ve created this guide to help you understand what flood insurance covers, who needs to have it, and how to choose the best option for your needs. Read on for all you need to know about choosing a flood insurance policy.
Who Needs Flood Insurance & Why It’s an Essential Coverage
Flood insurance is a standalone insurance policy that can cover the physical structure of your home and your belongings after flood-related damage.
Most homeowners insurance policies do not include flood coverage. As a result, if your home experiences any damage from a flood, ranging from mild to severe, you’ll likely need to pay for it out of pocket.
If your home is in an area with a high risk of flooding, your mortgage company may make flood insurance mandatory while you pay off your mortgage. However, even if your area has a low flood risk, you never know when the next major storm will come through that places you at risk for flood damage.
Floods can devastate homes. Even the least severe floods can create thousands of dollars worth of damage in minutes. Meanwhile, the most severe flooding events can completely destroy homes.
While purchasing coverage is ultimately up to you in the scenario your mortgage company doesn’t require it, it could save you hundreds of thousands of dollars if a flood destroys your home. We recommend talking to your insurance agent about whether flood insurance is right for you.
What Is & Is NOT Covered by a Flood Insurance Policy
Understanding what flood insurance does and does not cover can help you make a more informed decision about purchasing a policy.
Most flood insurance policies include the following:
- Dwelling coverage: Helps pay for repairs to the physical structure of your house, such as drywall, electrical systems, plumbing systems, carpeting, flooring, etc.
- Contents coverage: Helps pay to replace the items in your home damaged by the flood, such as furniture, appliances, decor, etc.
Flood insurance typically only covers damage from natural flooding occurrences; which does not include:
- Damage from burst pipes
- Property and items outside your home, such as decks, swimming pools, and landscaping
- Vehicle damage from flooding
- Hotel costs while your home is unlivable
- Preventable mold and mildew
- Damage from earth movements, such as earthquakes or mudslides
You can receive coverage for some of these events through your homeowners and auto insurance policies.
Important Considerations When Choosing a Flood Coverage Plan
Every insurance policy is different. If you’re considering flood insurance, you’ll want to spend some time choosing the right policy and provider for your needs.
First, examine the insurance company’s reputation in the market:
- How is its customer service?
- Does it have a fast response time?
- What kind of ratings/reviews has it received?
Next, consider the cost of your insurance policy, including the following:
- Premium: The amount you must pay per year to maintain coverage
- Coverage limits: The maximum payout you can receive for covered damage
- Deductible: The amount you must pay toward a claim before your coverage kicks in
- Discounts: Be sure to inquire about any discounts that may be available to you
Is it too Late to Get Flood Insurance?
Many people wonder if they can simply add a flood insurance policy after their home experiences flood damage or once they see a big storm in the forecast.
However, most insurance policies will not cover events and damage that occurred before beginning the policy. Additionally, many policies have a 30-day waiting period before coverage goes into effect.
This waiting period may not be applicable if:
- You bought flood insurance while creating or changing a mortgage loan
- You altered your flood insurance coverage when renewing your policy
- You experienced flooding after a wildfire on federal land
For the best protection, it’s recommended to secure a flood insurance plan as soon as you can to ensure optimal coverage that you can count on when you need it most.
Get the Insurance Coverage You Need Today
Purchasing an insurance policy through an independent insurance agency like Lee Insurance can allow you to receive customized coverage that meets your budget and needs.
Contact us today at 281-812-8400 to request your free flood insurance quote.