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What Is Flood Insurance?

What is flood insurance? Learn how to protect properties with traditional flood insurance, or special coverage via the National Flood Insurance Program.

An overflowing washing machine or a leaky dishwasher is a real bummer, but it’s often nothing compared to the damage that can be caused when a nearby body of water overflows or a neighborhood storm drain backs up – often when a large quantity of precipitation accumulates quickly.

Protecting your home in the event of a large-scale flood is critical, especially if you live in a flood-prone region like a floodplain. Purchasing flood insurance is the main form of protection that home and business owners usually take.

Read on to learn what flood insurance is, why it matters, what it covers, and how to find out if your home is in a high-risk area.

How Do I Know If I Need Flood Insurance?

Homeowners in flood-prone regions need flood insurance. In some cases, financing the purchase of a property in a floodplain is contingent on the purchase of flood insurance.

Floodplains are high-risk areas located near a river, lake, or in a low-lying coastal region. The best way to find out if you’re located in a high-risk flooding area is to check out your local flood map through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website.

Even those homes constructed outside of a floodplain may benefit from flood insurance. If you’re interested in further protection for your home, we recommend speaking with your insurance agent to understand your flood risk and coverage options.

What Is Flood Insurance and What Does Flood Insurance Cover?

Flood insurance is a type of property insurance that covers a home or dwelling for losses sustained by water damage.

Standard homeowners’ insurance does not cover flood damage that occurs from a natural event like a storm surge or a flooding river or lakeshore, or a man-made external event like a dam failure.

If you wish to insure your property in case of an external flood (versus a failed water heater in your basement), you must purchase a separate, additional flood insurance policy.

Flood insurance is narrow in scope and typically only covers flooding caused by:

  • Heavy or prolonged rain (flooding rivers, lakes and streams)
  • Melting snow
  • Blocked storm drainage systems
  • Rapid or unusual accumulation or runoff of surface water
  • Levee or dam failure

While you may refer to an overflowing washing machine as a “flood,” this is not a flood as defined by the insurance industry. Flood insurance will only cover losses directly caused by flooding linked to a natural event.

Read your policy or speak with your agent to understand the specifics of your coverage and to make sure you have coverage for the types of external (and internal) flooding events likely to affect your home.

How Much Does Flood Insurance Cost?

Floods account for some of the costliest natural disasters on record. Because floods can happen almost anywhere, nearly all property owners are susceptible to floods – on average, accounting for nearly $8.2 billion in damage each year.

The good news is that flood insurance is generally affordable, with prices increasing based on the likelihood your property is to suffer a major flood. Properties in flood-prone areas are, logically, more expensive to insure.

According to Policy Genius, the average cost of flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is $700 annually.

What Is the National Flood Insurance Program?

Like all types of insurance, homes at higher risk of flooding will cost more to insure. Flood insurance can be cost-prohibitive for property owners in low-lying areas or floodplains.

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is a federal program that aims to make flood insurance affordable for those who need it most. The program provides more affordable flood insurance to property owners, renters and businesses in at-risk areas.

Choose Rainbow International for Flood Damage Recovery

Has your home suffered flood damage? It happens! Your local Rainbow International is ready to help. Our IICRC-certified water damage restoration and remediation specialists make disasters disappear.

Need help now? Call (855) 724-6269 or request an estimate online to get started.

Where there is water, there will be mosquitoes. Protect your home with help from our friends at Mosquito Joe. Like Rainbow International, Mosquito Joe is a member of the Neighborly® family of home service brands.