Do I Need Flood Insurance For My Home?
A flood is the nation’s most common and even the costliest kind of disaster. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), homeowners suffer thousands to millions of dollars in flood-related damages annually. While it is already apparent that if you live in an area near a lake, ocean, or river you are at a high risk of flooding, properties or homes that are situated far from water can also be prone to flooding.
Many conditions can cause flooding; such as heavy rains and hurricanes. But there are also other internal causes of flooding in homes, such as burst pipes or spring thaws. Whatever the cause is, flooding can result in extensive water damage to your home and its contents. Water can seep into building materials and compromise the structural integrity of your home; which can result in costly flood damage repairs and restoration.
Homeowner’s insurance does not protect you in the event of a flood. It simply means that you are on the hook for every type of damage flood caused to your home. But with flood insurance, restoration costs can become more manageable and you can provide additional protection in case your home suffers from flood damage.
For some homeowners, flood insurance is a requirement. But, if you are living in a low-risk area, you might be debating whether buying flood insurance is worth it as it involves money. So, if you are in dispute about whether you should flood insurance for your home, then you have to continue reading to learn other facts that can help make up your mind.
What Is Flood Insurance Policy?
Flood insurance policies are separate insurance policies that a homeowner can buy to provide additional protection in the event of a flood. Homeowners purchase this because the standard homeowner's insurance policy does not cover flood damage.
In some cases, you may need to purchase flood insurance. According to FloodSmart.gov, if your home is located on land that has a high risk of flooding, your lender might require you to have flood insurance. But, if you live in an area not included in a FEMA flood zone, then it is just up to you if you want to purchase it or not.
However, even if your home might not be prone to flooding, you still have some risks. According to FEMA, all 50 states in the U.S. have suffered from floods, and 20% of insurance claims come from moderate-to-low-risk areas. So, flood insurance can protect you in case your home sustains flood damage.
What Is Covered In Flood Insurance
Aside from knowing the definition of flood insurance, knowing its coverage can also help you decide whether you have to buy flood insurance or not. According to FEMA, a flood insurance policy can cover damage to the structure of your home and your personal belongings. Here are some examples of what this additional protection covers;
- Contents Coverage
Flood insurance pays out the actual cash value of the contents of your home, taking depreciation into account. It can cover damage to your clothing, furniture, curtains, electronics, some portable appliances, and important valuables like art.
- Property Coverage
Flood insurance covers the physical structure of your home as well as its foundation, electrical systems, plumbing, HVAC systems, cabinets, paneling, and a detachable garage. It typically pays out based on replacement cost (the total amount it would take to repair or replace the damaged property in today's dollar) for a primary residence. The maximum coverage limit is $250,00.
On the other hand, flood insurance does not cover everything. So, before buying, it is also necessary to know the limitations specified in your policy. Yet, this policy can cover a large amount of damage, which is better than paying the entire cost for flood restoration.
Do I Need To Buy Flood Insurance For My Home?
If your home is in a high-risk area, you may need to have one. But, if your property is considered low-risk, the decision to get flood insurance is in your hands. You should weigh your risk of flooding against the cost of your home and its contents. Make an inventory of your home, so you know the value of your home and its contents. Remember not only to consider major floods because even an inch of water can cause serious damage to your home.
If you are thinking of purchasing flood insurance, talk to an agent so you can have a better understanding of its coverage and cost.
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