Home or auto coverage does not cover unexpected mishaps, but it provides financial protection in case of an emergency. Floods can cause the most serious damage to your home. Floods can cause damage to your home that is as small as a few inches. This could cost you thousands of dollars. Unfortunately, a standard homeowners insurance policy doesn’t protect against flooding. Flood insurance must be purchased separately, regardless of what type of property coverage you have.
Floods are the most frequent natural disaster in America. Even if you don’t live within a flood zone buying insurance coverage is a smart move. Flood coverage can protect you from financial ruin if water damages your property or possessions.
Flood insurance: How do you buy it?
Are you looking for flood insurance? This is different from buying homeowners insurance. Flood insurance can only be purchased through an insurance agency or insurer that is a participant in the federally-backed National Flood Insurance Program. Start with an existing insurance agent. However, be aware that not all agents will offer flood insurance and that it may be difficult to find it in areas that are susceptible to flooding. FEMA states that you cannot purchase it directly from the NFIP. If your agent doesn’t sell flood insurance, contact the NFIP Referral Call Center for a referral.
What insurance companies offer flood insurance?
Flood insurance is not offered by all companies or agents. It is possible to get it through:
- One of the 60 private companies offering it, including Allstate and Farmers Insurance, Liberty Mutual, USAA, and Farmers Insurance.
- If you live in one of the 22,000 communities that are part of the National Flood Insurance Program, then Servicing Agents is an option. Geico flood insurance is available through the NFIP if you want to combine your car insurance and flood insurance.
Both are supported by the federal government. This means that either option is viable.
Here are some things you should know before buying flood insurance
To make sure that you are fully covered, it is important to be clear about what questions to ask before you call your agent. FEMA recommends asking your agent these questions:
Participation of my community in the National Flood Insurance Program
FEMA states that most communities participate. Your agent can help you determine if this is true. Your community must participate in order to be eligible for flood insurance through the NFIP.
Which flood zone should I be living in?
Many communities are built in flood zones. You may not be aware that your home is within one. It is vital to understand the risks of flooding at your home. There are many factors that can impact it. Flood maps often change, which could increase the cost of your insurance.
What coverage should I have for my home and contents?
Flood insurance is like any other insurance policy. There are certain things that may not be covered. Is it for the contents of the home, or only the damage to the property? What floods are covered? It is better to be underinsured than uninsured. As long as your budget allows, you will want to ensure that your policy covers as much of your property.
What is the coverage of a flood insurance policy?
Flood insurance policies generally only cover damage caused by natural floods. Flood insurance policies cannot cover damage caused by an accident that occurs naturally.
FEMA can provide more information about flood. FEMA defines a flood as a situation where at least two acres of normally-dry land are covered in standing water by natural events , orwhen standing waters result from the collapse of land near the shoreline of an natural body of water.
There are several types of flood insurance. The type you have will determine what is covered.
Coverage for building property
This coverage offers protection for:
- Your house’s structure
- The plumbing and electrical systems
- Central AC, furnaces, vacuum systems, etc
- Built-in appliances and refrigerators
- Permanently installed carpeting
- Blinds for windows
- Garages detached
You will need to buy what is called:
Protection for personal property
This includes most personal possessions and anything else that is located inside the home, such as:
- Furniture, clothing and electronic equipment
- Window units and portable air conditioners
- Carpets are not covered by building coverage
- Washers and dryers
- Food freezers and food in them
- Art and fur are valuables (up to $2,500).
Flood insurance is not only for homeowners and businesses. Renters also need to be aware of the options available. Renters can get a policy through NFIP that covers the contents of their rental up to $100,000. The cost of your policy will vary depending on where you live, how flood-prone the property is, and what kind of damage it has. A Preferred Risk Policy is available to those who live in low- or moderate-risk areas. It will not cost much.
Questions frequently asked
What is the cost of flood insurance?
FEMA estimates that the average cost for flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program is approximately $700 per year. The rate is higher in areas that are more susceptible to flooding, and lower in those with a lower risk.
Flood insurance is not part of a home insurance policy.
Flooding is not covered by a renter’s or home owner’s insurance policies. It is considered a gradual event and not a sudden one. Floods are defined as water reaching the ground first before it reaches the property. Standard policies do not cover this.
How can I prevent my house flooding?
Flood damage can be prevented by elevating the house above the ground, installing sump pumps, checking the valves on the pipes, sealing cracks to stop water entering the house, waterproofing electrical wiring and redirecting runoff away from your house towards the street or gutter.