Do You Need Flood Insurance?

With hurricanes and other forms of natural disasters that have been on the news in recent years, you’ve probably heard how many people lost their homes, or had damage to their homes, and didn’t have flood insurance coverage as part of their homeowner’s policy. Some of them lived in known flooding areas, others did not. Flood insurance does not come as part of a standard homeowner’s insurance policy.

It needs to be purchased in addition to your other coverage. You may think it is a coverage that you don’t need. Read through the following list and then see if you still feel the same way.

  1. You live in a known flood plain. If where you live is commonly known to be a flood plain, then, yes, you NEED flood insurance. Why would you want to risk losing your home?
  2. Your house has been flooded before. Some people make the mistake of thinking that once they’d experience a rare flood or a hurricane in their area, that they will be safe from it happening again in their lifetime. This is presumptuous, and puts you at risk.
  3. All your neighbors have it. Maybe this would be considered peer pressure, but if everyone else in your neighborhood thinks that flood insurance is worth paying for, then you might want to join the crowd.
  4. Check your risk factor with FEMA Go to www.floodsmart.gov and click on Your Flood Risk and enter your address to find out the amount of risk FEMA has assigned to your area. If there is any risk at all, you will want to give flood insurance some serious consideration.
  5. Floods from above. Home flooding doesn’t always come from rivers. Sometimes it comes from heavy down pours of rain that saturate the ground and seep into your basement. That is still defined as flooding, as far as your insurance company is concerned.
  6. Floods from below. Even if your home is situated on higher ground where area flood waters aren’t reaching, you may still experience damage to your home from rising ground water levels that leak into your basement from below.
  7. Your mortgage lender requires it. If your mortgage lender requires you to cover flood insurance, then they obviously consider flooding to be a significant risk for your location. They are protecting your investment, as well as their own.
  8. Frosty floods. Snow melting while the ground is still frozen is another way that your home can be damaged by flood water. When the ground is frozen, water from the surface is unable to penetrate and filter down through the soil. Water will naturally seek a way to escape and may use your basement as a route downward.
  9. Hurricanes. Hurricanes bring wind and rain, and lots of both. The average home insurance policy will cover the wind damage, but not the damage due to rain, flooding or any moisture issues associated with the storm.
  10. Water damage in general. As you can see, almost any type of natural water damage to your home is not covered by a normal homeowner’s insurance policy. You will need to have flood insurance if you want coverage for any of these types of damage. It generally is easier for your insurance agent to list the water damage types that would be covered, since they are so few, than to list all of those that aren’t.

I can give you a hand with any insurance law issues that may arise because of a flood.  Just give me a call and I’ll be happy to speak with you.

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