Flood damage is no joke. Just one inch of water can cost a homeowner more than $20,000 worth of damages on average.
A flood can claim personal belongings, destroy property, destroy businesses, and devastate crops. But many people still don’t understand the importance of flood insurance, even in areas that aren’t known for experiencing flash flooding.
Countless people have lost everything they own in an unexpected flood and are devastated by the loss. Flood insurance is there to rebuild what was lost for victims of flooding.
If you’ve been wondering, “What does flood insurance cover?” and how having coverage can protect you and your valuables, read on to learn more:
Homeowners Insurance Does Not Cover Floods
First of all, it’s very important to realize right up front that basic homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flood damage at all. Standard homeowners insurance will likely cover some minimal damage from rain. But if your home fills with water as a result from nearby oceans, streams, lakes, or rivers, you’ll be up the creek without a paddle.
To protect yourself in the event of a flood, you need flood insurance specifically. Flood insurance is usually purchased in two separate policies. One that covers your personal belongings and one that covers your building property (your home).
Those who are buying property in what’s considered a “high-risk zone” (sometimes referred to as a Special Hazard Flood Area) are required to buy flood insurance coverage.
If you’re buying property in a new area, make sure to check with the flood insurance requirements ahead of time. A dependable insurance provider should be able to give you all the information you need regarding flood insurance requirements and costs for your property and your area.
What Does Flood Insurance Cover? Building Coverage
If you purchase building coverage, the following damage will be covered by your flood insurance:
-Furnaces, heat pumps, sump pumps, and water heaters.
-The plumbing and electrical systems.
-Installed bookcases, cabinets, and paneling, so long as the damage was directly caused by the flood. Only those cabinets or shelves that were damaged by the flood will be covered, so don’t plan on automatically having all new cabinets installed if only some of them were damaged.
-Installed window coverings including blinds, shutters, curtains, etc.
-Fuel tanks and the fuel within during the time of the flood, solar energy equipment, water tanks, and water pumps.
-Stoves, refrigerators, and all built-in appliances such as dishwashers.
-Foundation walls and staircases that are directly attached to a home or building. Be aware that any walls or foundation that are deemed “loss by earth movement” are not included in the flood damage coverage.
-Detached garages up to a percentage decided upon by your insurance provider.
What Does Flood Insurance Cover? Personal Belongings
Separate from the building components itself are your personal belongings. Usually, flood insurance for personal belongings will cover the following:
-Damage to carpets installed over wood flooring
-Washers and dryers
-Portable appliances such as microwaves
-Electronic devices and equipment
-Furniture large and small
-Certain personal valuables of significant worth such as original art pieces (different insurance providers have different coverage regulations for these items)
-Freezers and the food within them (the food inside of refrigerators is usually not covered, though the refrigerators are covered by personal contents flood insurance)
-Portable air conditioners
Be sure to check with your specific policy to make sure each of these things are covered.
What Isn’t Covered With Flood Insurance?
Before you purchase flood insurance, take note of the types of damage and loss that aren’t covered. This includes:
-Earth movement damage (even if the movement is caused by a flood)
-Living expenses that might come up as a result of a flood including any temporary housing, moving costs, etc.
-Loss of currency (stock certificates, valuable paperwork)
-Outdoor property including decks, patios, fences, plants, trees, swimming pools, hot tubs
-Damage caused by mold or mildew that is not attributed to the flood
-Vehicles including trucks, cars, motorcycles, and their parts, even when damaged by flood waters
-Loss of access to the home and its surroundings
Even though these things aren’t covered, take note of everything that is covered and know you are very well protected.
Should I Purchase Flood Insurance?
If you’re uncertain about whether or not you should purchase flood insurance, there are some things to take into consideration that should help you decide. Start by determining how much of a risk your area is at for flooding.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has determined which areas of the country are most likely to experience floods. They have drawn up flood maps to issue flood insurance ratings and to determine insurance requirements for certain areas.
If you live in an area that is high on the risk scale, you should definitely consider flood insurance if you aren’t already required to have it.
But it isn’t just high-risk areas that can benefit from flood insurance.
Did you know that more than 20% of flood claims come from areas that are outside of high-risk flood zones?
And while many people think that flooding occurs in areas located along the coast most frequently, inland states have been among the most affected for the past decade. Assuming that your property is safe from flooding because you aren’t located near a body of water is a mistake and could lose to unexpected loss and damages that aren’t covered by insurance.
Find Flood Insurance in Your Area
Now that you have an answer for, “what does flood insurance cover,” you can take the next step toward securing flood insurance coverage to protect yourself.
We provide flood insurance for moderate and high-risk customers who understand the importance of protecting themselves and their businesses against natural disasters.
Contact us today to get a quote on flood insurance or any other type of insurance you require. We’re happy to help you get the right policy for your individual needs.