Do I Have Flood Insurance?
The standard homeowner’s insurance policy does NOT include flood insurance, and will not cover flood damage. Flood insurance must be purchased additionally, either through your local insurance broker, or through the government’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
What is a Flood Insurance Policy & What Does it Cover?
When it comes to your insurance, not all water damage is the same. If you suffer water damage from a storm that destroys your roof resulting in water damage from rain, this is covered under homeowner’s insurance. If you suffer damage due to rising water from a lake, river, stream or ocean that overflows, this is only covered by specifically purchased flood insurance. In addition, you should also be forewarned, neither of these coverages protect you against water backups, which also requires additional coverage. What is water backup coverage? This pays for damages in the event water backs-up into your home from a broken sump pump, overflowing drain or sewage backup, making water damage an even trickier insurance task to tackle.
Do I Need Flood Insurance?
Depending on where you live, you may or may not need flood insurance, however if you live in a flood plain, mortgage companies typically require it. One-in-four flood claims is for a home not in a flood plain. Luckily, you can still purchase flood insurance – even if you don’t live in a flood zone.
Do I Need to Beware of Coverage Limits?
Coverage for your home and its contents through the National Flood Insurance Program tops out at $350,000. This includes $250,000 for the structure, $100,000 for personal possessions. For higher amounts, you’ll need supplemental or “excess flood insurance” coverage, available through a private carrier. (Think jewelry, artwork, tools.) Keep in mind, however, while most associate floods with a total loss, the average flood claim is around $39,000. You should also be aware: Flood insurance doesn’t cover living expenses if you need somewhere else to stay while your home is being repaired.
How Much Does Flood Insurance Cost?
The average price for flood insurance is about $660 a year, however rates will vary based on your home’s value and proximity to a flood plain. Don’t wait for a storm - there is a 30-day waiting period between when you buy flood coverage and when it kicks in.
In What Regions is it Best to Have Flood Insurance?
You can plug any address into FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center to see if you’re in a flood zone. Keep in mind, however, flood plains (and thus, maps) are continually evolving – and the status of your home’s location could abruptly change. Because of this, it is always best to verify any search results (including information you glean from an insurance agent) via other tools to ensure you’re protecting yourself.
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