Spring is on its way, and with it comes thawing snow, rising creeks and rivers, and sometimes, heavy rains. While some areas are certainly more prone to flooding than others, a flood can happen to any one of us regardless of where we live. In fact, according to Floodsmart.gov, floods are actually the number one natural disaster in the United States. Even if your home has never been flooded before, there’s no guarantee that you’re safe from one in the future. After all, it can rain anywhere, and rain can easily equal a flood. So, if a flood were to hit your neighborhood, would your home be protected?
The short answer is: maybe. Standard homeowners insurance does not cover damage incurred from a flood. However, depending on where you live, some lenders will require you to purchase a separate flood insurance policy. Or, if you live in a low-to-moderate flood risk zone, and your community belongs to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)- and many communities do- you have the option to buy coverage.
Flood Insurance Protection
A flood is defined by the NFIP as “a general and temporary condition where two or more acres of normally dry land or two or more properties are inundated by water or mudflow”. Areas throughout the United States have been mapped out to show their risk of floods; visit the NFIP website to find out how at risk your area may be. These zones help determine the rates for flood insurance.
Your homeowner’s insurance will only cover damage due to rain as it falls from the sky. For instance, if during a thunderstorm lightning or high winds knock down a tree, and the tree lands on your roof, your homeowner’s policy will cover that damage. If rain water accumulates quickly and the creek in your backyard overflows, causing your basement or first floor to flood, you would not be covered unless you had flood insurance.
Sadly, most people don’t realize that their homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover flood damage until it’s already too late. The average flood insurance claim is around $30,000 for a 2,000 square foot home. Flood insurance includes two different types of coverage; building coverage and contents coverage. Building coverage will cover damage to the floors and carpet, doors and windows, kitchen and bathroom cabinets, as well as the electrical and plumbing systems. Contents coverage will cover the costs to replace major appliances, furniture and personal items.
If you’re wondering if you should add flood insurance to your current homeowner’s insurance policy, talk to your agent about what will be covered in your home and ask if there are any additional fees you should be aware of. Find out if your policy will replace damaged items or just insure the value of the items. Your peace of mind could certainly be worth that extra expense!
If you have any questions about adding flood insurance to your current homeowner’s insurance policy, contact Machor Sage today! We can help determine the best combination of coverage to effectively meet your needs.