Most homeowners think that flood insurance is included in standard homeowners’ insurance policy. It is not! Flood insurance is a stand-alone policy that can cover losses against heavy rain, mudslides, ice jams, flood after fires, rapid snowmelt and a number of other water-related conditions.
Do you really need flood insurance? It may be a good idea to contact your SIAA certified independent insurance agent to determine what, if any, additional flood insurance you need. Often, but not always, this depends on whether your property lies within a flood zone. Current Federal Emergency Management (FEMA) Issued Flood Maps are available for your online review. These maps are broken down into high-risk areas, moderate-to-low risk areas and undetermined-risk areas. Since risks can change over time, we recommend you re-visit these maps and this investment decision each year upon your policy renewal date. Be aware as flood claims do happen in areas that are not designated flood zones. A good insurance agent can tell you if your home is located in an area where flood losses have occurred.
Water damage can be expensive. To help you visualize the damage and determine possible financial losses, visit FEMA’s cost of flooding tool at: www.floodsmart.gov. Damage estimates range from $7,800 for a one-inch flood to $12,000 for an eight-inch flood.
Some things a standard flood policy can cover include structural damage, electrical and plumbing, furnace, water heater, and flood cleanup. Of course, your policy may differ. Your independent agent, unlike the national insurance chains, can guide you through the claims process in a thorough, orderly, and efficient manner.
Don’t wait – ask the question now – Flood insurance cannot be purchased if a major hurricane or other weather event is imminent!