A standard homeowner's insurance or renter's insurance policy covers common perils, including fire, theft and many natural disasters. But such policies do not cover flood damage. Many homeowners do not realize this. Others mistakenly believe they do not need flood insurance, because they don't live in a floodplain. In reality, almost everyone needs a flood insurance policy.
Flood damage is common and expensive
Floods are the most common type of natural disaster, causing damage to homes in the United States. They can happen far from coastal areas. Landlocked areas can experience flooding due to circumstances like:
- heavy snow melt over frozen ground that can't absorb it
- sudden torrential rainfall causing flash flooding
- new construction reducing the amount of land available to absorb heavy rains
The best protection against flood damage is a flood insurance policy.
Floods cause an inordinate amount of damage. In the past decade, the average flood insurance claim has been about $48,000. Even one inch of water in a 1,000-square-foot home can cause more than $10,000 worth of damage. Without flood insurance, you will have to pay this cost yourself.
Homeowners can't count on federal aid, because most floods are not considered national disasters. Even if you do qualify for aid, it's usually limited to a small grant or a low-interest loan that must be repaid.
Flood insurance protects your home and its contents
The best protection against flood damage is a flood insurance policy. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), created in 1968, offers flood insurance to anyone living or doing business in participating communities. These communities' flood-reduction ordinances meet or exceed requirements set forth by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Flood insurance coverage for your building is available to cover up to $250,000 in damage. This covers the building itself and its foundation, as well as permanent structures such as electrical and plumbing systems, furnaces and large appliances. Flood insurance coverage for your contents is optional and available to cover up to $100,000. This coverage protects everything else in a building, including portable appliances, personal items and clothing. Flood insurance policies for business structures and business contents are available to cover up to $500,000 each.
Flood insurance is smart and easy to buy
Homeowners in high-risk areas, those who face a 1 percent annual chance of flooding, are required to buy flood insurance if their mortgage lender is federally regulated or insured. Even when flood insurance is not required, it's a good idea to purchase it, because flooding can and does occur even in low- to moderate-risk areas. More than 20 percent of NFIP claims are from these lower-risk areas.
Although NFIP provides the flood insurance, homeowners buy it through their own insurance agent. Most companies offer it. NFIP also sets the rates, so they will be the same no matter where it's sold—meaning you won't have to shop around for the best price.
If you're considering flood insurance, buy it before the storm comes. Policies usually do not go into effect until 30 days after purchase. Take a few minutes to get a free, no obligation flood insurance quote today.
For a free flood insurance quote, please call 1-866-380-3870 or get a quote online.