Flood Insurance 101

Water damage in house after flooding with stains on the wall

When you own a house or rent an apartment, you’ll want to invest in protecting your home. Homeowners insurance or renters insurance can help protect your property in case of a disaster. But what about flooding? Should you get flood insurance? The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) says that even an inch of water can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage.

Let’s clear the air: homeowners insurance and renters insurance do not typically cover natural floods unless they specifically say so. You will have to buy flood insurance separately or have it added to your homeowners/renters policy. “But do I need flood insurance?” “How much does flood insurance cost?” Here’s a brief explanation on flood insurance coverage and you can decide whether or not you should get a flood insurance quote.

What is Flood Insurance?

Homeowners flood insurance benefits or separate flood insurance policies help you repair or replace property and personal belongings if they are damaged or lost in a natural flood. It can be purchased separately or as an additional benefit to some homeowners insurance plans. While homeowners and renters insurance plans can cover water damage done from a broken pipe or other such means, it doesn’t cover damage done from flooding caused by storms, hurricanes, or other floods triggered by natural causes.

What Does Flood Insurance Cover?

There are two kinds of coverage in a comprehensive flood insurance policy. First, there is building property coverage that helps pay for damages done to your home’s physical structure. This includes repairing or replacing your home’s foundation, heating system, electrical system, attached bookcases, paneling, and other items involved with your physical dwelling.

The second type of coverage is personal contents coverage. This helps pay for repair or replacement of personal belongings damaged in the flood such as furniture, clothing, appliances, and certain valuables. When purchasing flood insurance, it is generally recommended that you get quotes for both types of coverage from flood insurance companies.

What Doesn’t Flood Insurance Cover?

While flood insurance can cover a wide range of damages, there are still limitations. Most plans won’t cover moisture or mildew damage that could have been avoided by the homeowner. The loss of precious metals, paper currency, and important documents such as stock certificates also don’t get covered by flood insurance. Fences, septic systems, landscaping, hot tubs, and other outdoor property aren’t covered by a flood insurance policy. Cars and other vehicles aren’t covered by flood insurance, but there are some car insurance policies that could help pay for those damages.

Who Should Get a Flood Insurance Policy?

The general answer is “everybody.” While you may not live in a high risk area for flooding or a designated flood zone, even lower-risk areas could experience a flood depending on weather conditions. While homes along the coast have higher chances of flooding, you never know when a torrential rainstorm can hit and result in heavy flood activity. To find out the flood risk for a particular area, check out the National Flood Insurance Program’s website: www.floodsmart.gov.

How Much Does Flood Insurance Cost?

Flood insurance rates can vary due to a number of different factors. The location of the property, the design and age of the structure, the amount of coverage you want, and whether or not the property is in a flood zone can all affect flood insurance prices. Generally, the average cost for flood insurance premiums comes to about $600 per year. However, this is a very broad generalization as there are some policies in low-risk areas that cost only $150 per year and high-risk areas may cost upwards of $2,000 per year. While these can be seen as expensive costs, it’s worthwhile to have if a hazardous flood occurs.

Protecting your home with insurance is protecting your investment and day-to-day life. You can get quality homeowners insurance and protection through Freeway Insurance. Freeway’s licensed professionals can offer you a great insurance plan at a great price, including plans that could have flood insurance added to the overall policy. Give us a call or get a free homeowners insurance quote online to get protected today.