Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Floods?
Most home owners have a lot invested in their houses and the property inside of those houses. Mortgage, taxes, and insurance may add up to the the largest category of monthly bills. Most people regard those as the bills they need to pay first, because if they don’t , homes could be lost. But typical homeowners insurance policies do not cover floods, and flood happen in all 50 states.
Consider some facts from the National Flood Insurance Program (they do cover floods). These could motivate you to call your local agent or find a new one.
- You could get 20 feet of water rushing into your home during a flash flood.
- Buy flood insurance before the flood. Most policies take 1 month to take effect.
- Since inception in 1978, the NFIP has written checks for over $40 billion in claims.
- Floods happen in all 50 US states. They might occur because of heavy rains, snow melt, rising rivers, coastal storms, etc.
- Your policy might not even cover water damage that was caused by sewer or plumbing problems.
Where Do You Buy Flood Insurance?
The U.S. National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) oversees most flood insurance in the country. This is true for residential and commercial property. However, you still buy flood insurance from an insurance company. This means that you should be able to contact your own local agent about the program.
Most people will find that their policies do not cost that much. Low risk policies start at about $125 a year. That minor expense could save you from being responsible for thousands of dollars of damage. Why don’t you call up your agent or current insurance to find out if you need flood insurance? If you cannot get an answer, it might be time to find another agent or insurer.
Do Flood Policies Cover Home Contents?
You may have to purchase separate coverage for your actual building and your home contents. According to State Farm, the average renter own $20,000 worth of property that they keep inside their home. How much do you own? Add up the replacement value of the TV sets, appliances, clothes, jewelry, etc. that you keep in your house. And yes, that brings up the point that renters need to make sure that they are covered for floods too!
Where Are Homes And Businesses At The Highest Risk Of Floods?
You might want to look at this flood map from the US National Weather Service. You will be likely to find your own state with a lot of green icons, indicating flood activity. It is included here, to the right, but you can see it larger on the site. This map only includes the lower 48 states and DC, but if you live in Hawaii or Alaska, you should be aware of flood risks from sea level rise, rivers, and snow melt (mostly Alaska) too.
You might think that this risk is more prevalent on the coast. Texas has the 6th largest shoreline in the USA, but central Texas around Austin and San Antonio are famous as Flash Flood Alley. Since Texas is as big as 6 typical states, it is a good example. But the point is that landlocked areas and states are also at risk.
Is It Only Natural Floods?
Your policy might also not cover other types of water damage. These could occur because of sewer backups, pipes breaking, etc. Check your policy documents to find out which types of water damage might be included or excluded. If you do not care to comb through a lot of lingo, contact your insurer or agent.
What Else Doesn’t Typical Home Insurance Cover?
You should also know that a typical homeowners insurance does not cover earthquakes and other types of land movement. You should check to see if these are included or excluded in your policy documents. Again, if these are hard to understand, contact your agent or insurer as soon as possible.
Why Not Protect Your Home Or Business Against Water Damage?
It is a fact that water damage is one of the biggest hazards that threaten US homes. When you consider that many homes are not covered for this risk, the problem is even worse. Be sure and get answers before you have a problem.