Whether they come from a storm surge or melting snow, floods are among the most destructive types of natural disasters.
According to FEMA, even an inch of floodwater can be responsible for $25,000 in damage to homes on average, and generally speaking this damage is not covered under homeowner’s insurance policies. A flood insurance policy can be a financial levee when the waters start to rise.
Who Needs Flood Insurance?
Homes and businesses that are within areas considered at a high risk of flooding are generally required by the government to purchase flood insurance. This map can help determine your home’s specific flood risk level, but keep in mind that 99% of counties in the United States experienced some level of flooding between 1996 and 2019. As severe storm systems have become increasingly common across the country in recent years, a flood insurance policy may be worth considering regardless of where you live.
What Does Flood Insurance Cover?
Flood insurance generally covers direct physical losses caused by an abundance of water on property that is usually dry. Two or more “properties” need to be affected for FEMA to classify the event as a flood. Damage is divided into two categories:
- Building Coverage: Typically up to $250,000 in coverage for the home’s flooring, foundation, electrical, HVAC, plumbing systems, and water heaters. This coverage also includes cleanup after the flood event has ended. Up to 10% of the coverage limit can be applied to detached structures like a garage.
- Contents Coverage: This covers personal property within the home, like furniture, appliances, electronics, and clothing that are damaged by a flood, usually up to $100,000.
The federal government, through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), provides most flood insurance policies in partnership with private insurance companies.
Most policies don’t cover damage from sewer line backups (unless it was directly caused by a flood) or mold, nor damage to motor vehicles, stock certificates, landscaping, items stored in the basement, or cash and jewelry beyond certain limits, but supplemental coverage may be available for these types of losses.
What Does Flood Insurance Cost?
The average NFIP policy costs around $700 per year, but can vary based on factors like your home’s age, the way it’s built, what flood zone it’s located in, and the policy’s deductible. Homes and businesses that are located in moderate to low risk areas may be able to purchase a Preferred Risk Policy with costs around $200/year.
Our agents are ready to help you find a flood insurance policy today that can keep your home safe.
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