Flooding is actually the most frequent natural disaster in the United States. One reason might be that other natural disasters, such as hurricanes and tornadoes, also cause water levels to rise and flooding to occur. Despite the seriousness and frequency of floods, most homeowners don’t carry flood insurance.
Did you know that your homeowner’s insurance policy does not cover flood damage? Your homeowner’s policy typically covers other water damage, such as a burst pipe or a leaky roof or even rain entering through damaged windows, walls, or doors. However, if water comes up from the bottom and enters your home from the outside, only flood insurance will offer coverage for your home and possessions.
To protect your home in case of flooding, we recommend purchasing flood insurance. Some people rely on disaster relief in case of flooding, but that’s usually not enough to get you back on your feet. Besides, disaster relief isn’t guaranteed in a localized flood. The only way to ensure you don’t lose everything in a flood is to get insurance coverage ahead of time.
If you expect flooding, it’s best to protect your home as much as you can by using sandbags to seal any openings at the base of your doors or windows. We also recommend taking pictures of your property periodically to prove its condition. Having before-and-after pictures can help with claims processing.
Unfortunately, water can cause more damage than you think. For one, flood waters are usually not as clean as the water that comes out of your tap. Also, your home and its contents were never designed to withstand large amounts of standing or moving water. Having a flood insurance policy in place is the best way to prepare for flooding.
Before you file a claim, you have to understand where the water comes from. Your homeowner’s insurance policy typically covers damage from wind, hail, and rain. Damage to your roof or exterior walls can also lead to flooding in your home. A hole in the exterior of your house lets rain in, which can cause severe damage to the drywall, flooring, and furnishings.
Flood damage is different. Flood insurance specifically covers water damage that occurs when water comes from the bottom into your home. It doesn’t matter whether it leaked into your basement or under your front door, as long as the water is coming from the ground and not the sky.
If you don’t live inside of a high-risk flood area, you may not think it worthwhile to get flood insurance. According to FEMA, 20% of all flood claims are for homes in areas with a low or moderate risk of flooding. If you don’t have flood insurance, you risk the value of your property just to save a little on premiums.
Flood insurance can be expensive if you live in a flood zone. However, if the risk is high that your property will get flooded, insurance is definitely worth it. If you live in a low-risk area, your insurance premiums will be more moderate, too. Given the high incidence of flood-related claims, it’s a good idea to get flood insurance either way. We can provide you with quotes for different levels of insurance to help you select an affordable policy that covers your biggest asset, your home.
You can get flood insurance when you buy a new home or anytime thereafter. The only caveat is that there’s usually a 30-day waiting period before coverage starts. This means purchasing flood insurance right before the flood will not protect you. Therefore, it’s best to act without delay and get your policy in place to ensure you’re covered if flooding occurs.
We understand the importance of protecting your home with adequate insurance. Even if you already have a homeowner’s insurance policy in place, it’s smart to purchase flood insurance as well. Call us today to talk about your coverage options.