You want to be a responsible homeowner and protect your largest financial investment. This almost always means that you should have homeowners coverage from an reliable company. This policy will provide financial protection for your home against a wide range of perils.
Homeowners often assume that their homeowners insurance policy covers water damage and that floods are covered. This is false. This is because homeowners insurance does not cover flooding. You would need separate flood insurance to cover damage and rebuilding in case of floods.
This is especially true for homeowners who live in high-risk areas of flooding. You can protect your home and finances by purchasing flood insurance, and putting in flood prevention strategies.
Assess the flood risk of your home
Are you a homeowner that should implement flood prevention? Flood-proofing is a good idea if you live in an area at high flood risk.
It’s easy to find out if you live in an area at high or moderate risk of flooding. Check the Federal Emergency Management Agency flood zone map. The map may shade your address when you pull up the address. You may have to zoom in and outside to see the colors. FEMA recommends that you prepare your home if it is located in an area with any of these colors. Flooding could be a concern for your home. FEMA recommends flood prevention precautions or steps to help you prepare.
|Blue (without Base flood Elevation [BFE]).||Annual-chance 1%||Despite the lower risk, flood insurance may be an option. Flood-proofing measures such as elevating your base floor may be an option.|
|Orange||Zones with 0.2% annual chance||This zone has a low chance of flooding. If you are looking for financial protection, consult your general contractor or builder.|
|Yellow||Flood risk undetermined||Assess your home to determine if flood precautions should be included in any new construction. An elevation certificate may be necessary or desired. This will allow you to better assess your home’s flood risk.|
|Red stripes and blue||Regulatory Floodways||Floods can be caused by flooding in your area. We will make every effort to divert the water to the floodway and discharge it. Floodway development is strictly controlled. Experts recommend flood insurance and flood prevention measures if your home is in a floodway.|
Prepare your home in case of flooding
Consider this as motivation to flood-proof your home: even one inch of water could cause $25,000 in damage.
Flooding is possible in all areas, even though some areas are more susceptible to flooding than others. It is advisable to prepare your home for flooding in order to prevent a loss.
Here are some precautions experts recommend to flood-proof a house.
Evaluate the drainage in your home
Your foundation should be in a sloped area around your home. Next time it rains, make sure to check that water is moving away from your house and not pooling on your property. You may be able to get suggestions from a general contractor about how to fix drainage problems.
Backwater valves can be installed to stop flood water from backing up in your home as an additional flood-proofing measure.
Dry proof your home
Flood waters can’t enter your home and your post-flood damage will be greatly reduced. Dryproofing, also known as dry floodproofing, is a method to protect your home from flood waters. The EU’s effort Resilience-Increasing Strategies for Coasts (RISC) recommends the following practices:
- Flood shields for your home openings
- Your doors should be raised
- Improve sealing around doors and windows
This FEMA PDF Chapter 7 (page 122) provides more information on dry proofing.
It can be difficult to dry floodproof your home. You may need to use more resources to completely seal your home from flood waters. Another option is wet flooding. Flood prevention techniques work to reduce the effects of flooding by ensuring that water leaves your home once it recedes.
Flood-resistant materials are recommended
Flood-resistant materials have been created to flood-proof homes. These materials can withstand little to no damage after prolonged water exposure.
FEMA differentiates between different flood-resistant materials. Use its guide for the best material quality for you home.
Elevate utilities, appliances
Find out the area’s flood level (BFE). If possible, raise appliances and utilities to that level whenever possible. This will not only help to prevent expensive damage, but also keep your home functional after a flood.
Flood waters rising in your area may cause you to shut off the power to your home to prevent electrical system damage.
Rearrange your home
This low-cost option is a good choice if you don’t have the funds to make major changes to your home. You can arrange your living spaces so that the majority of your valuables and high-value items are on the upper levels of your home. To protect valuables from water damage, move them to higher surfaces if you live on a one-story home.
Contact a contractor to be added to your file
You will want to get your home back to pre-flood state as soon as possible in the event of flooding or other losses. It is much easier to get the process started if you have the contact information of a trusted contractor. General contractors are willing to work with your insurance in the claims process to discuss repairs. It is a big plus to have a contractor that you trust.
Flood insurance covers homeowners?
Flood insurance is distinct from homeowners insurance. Although the flood insurance can be purchased as separate policies, your homeowners insurer may help you to obtain flood insurance through a private or government program. Experts recommend that you obtain flood insurance quotes if you live in an area at risk of flooding. When determining the coverage and value of your home and belongings, remember to include flood insurance and your home’s policy.
Flood insurance: Where can I get it?
Private insurance companies often offer flood insurance policies. However, coverage may be available through the National Flood Insurance Program. This guide can help you find a flood policy to suit your needs.