Is Flood Insurance Really Worth the Investment?
Many people are surprised to find out that flood damage, which includes almost any damage due to rising water entering your home from outdoors, is not covered by most homeowners’ insurance policies. Generally speaking, if the damage arises from sudden failure of a portion of your house, such as plumbing or the roof, homeowner’s insurance will usually cover it. But if the water comes in from outside, it may not be covered.
Nationwide, floods are caused by storms, melting snow, hurricanes, overloaded storm drain systems, as well as broken water mains. Most of these are excluded from basic homeowner’s insurance.
Sadly, water damage can lead to devastating losses, both financial and emotional. Flood water can damage furniture, personal belongings, your treasured heirlooms, photographs, drywall, carpeting, wood floors, building structure and so much more – and without flood insurance you would be left to repair and replace everything on your own.
You Need Flood Insurance
You should protect your home, business, and belongings with flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) whether your flood risk is high or low. Almost anyone who is in a community that participates in the NFIP can buy building and/or contents coverage, with very few exceptions. It is a good idea to buy even in lower risk areas because 25 to 30 percent of flood insurance claims come from low-to-moderate risk areas.
The Cost of Flood Insurance
Fortunately, flood insurance is very affordable. The low-cost Preferred Risk Policy is ideal for homes and businesses in low-to-moderate-risk areas. Homeowners can insure buildings and contents sometimes for less than $100 per year, and renters (yes, renters need it too) can do it for less than $50, depending on where you live and how much coverage you choose. Even in higher risk areas, flood insurance is usually about 20% the cost of your full homeowners’ policy.
Purchasing Flood Insurance
About 90 private insurance companies nationally offer affordable flood insurance backed by the federal government. Policies are available to homeowners, renters, and business owners alike. Flood insurance is easy to get through private insurance companies and independent insurance agents. You can even purchase flood insurance with a credit card.
When you buy flood insurance you can choose building and contents coverage separately, so renters can insure just their belongings. Generally, up to $100,000 contents coverage is available for homeowners and renters. If you own your home or business, make sure to ask your insurance agent about contents coverage as it is not necessarily included with the building coverage.
Don’t Rely on Disaster Assistance
You might wonder, doesn’t the federal government help people who have suffered a flood? Federal disaster assistance is only available if the President declares a disaster in a given area, so this is not something you can depend on. And, in many cases, any assistance you are given is a loan that must be paid back with interest. Flood insurance, on the other hand, pays even if a disaster is not declared, and of course you never have to pay it back.
Unfortunately, the possibility of flooding is an unpredictable fact of life for property owners. Dealing with the aftermath of even a small flood can be overwhelming. Hopefully you never have to go through flooding in your home. But if you do it is important to minimize the damage immediately by calling Clean Pro as soon as possible to get your home back to normal fast. Waiting simply increases the damage and prolongs the restoration process.