Do I need Flood Insurance?

Did you know that your property insurance does not cover water damage due to natural floods? Overflowing rivers, rising tides, full city drains, and storm rains could flood your home, but unless you have specific coverage against these hazards, you are likely alone.

In addition to natural flood disasters, your property insurance policy probably specifically excludes flooding due to sewer blockages and “leaks.” Some insurance companies do offer special promotions for sewer coverage. If you want this type of coverage, call your insurance agent and see if it’s available. Water seepage is considered a maintenance issue and is generally not covered by insurance. Your best option to protect against water infiltration is to evaluate and maintain your home.

Flood insurance is available to cover your home against flooding. This type of insurance is commonly known as a “single peril” policy. The National Flood Insurance Program offers policies that cover natural floods such as storm surge, snowmelt, heavy rain, levee failures, blocked storm drains, and other flood events. However, a flood must be significant enough for the insurance to take effect. For example, floodwaters must either affect two or more properties or cover at least two acres.

Some lenders require flood insurance policies, usually if you live within a specified floodplain. Flood hazard maps are used to determine the risk of a property. High-risk properties need a standard policy.

If you don’t live in a floodplain, you probably won’t need to get a flood insurance policy. However, flood insurance is available for low to medium risk properties. Almost 25% of all flood insurance claims are located in these low risk areas. Policies for low to moderate risk properties are cheaper. These policies are called “preferred peril” policies.

You can purchase flood insurance from your own insurance agent or locate an approved agent through the FloodSmart.gov website. It is not necessary to shop around for flood insurance because the rates are set by the National Flood Insurance Program and are based on flood maps.

flood insuranceAn interesting point if you are considering purchasing flood insurance is that there is a 30-day waiting period for your policy to take effect. You can’t look at the forecast and decide to buy flood insurance right before a hurricane hits. The two exceptions to this waiting period are when the initial purchase is made in conjunction with certain loans in high-risk areas or when the initial purchase is made within one year of a change to a flood map.

Water damage can and will happen regardless of whether you have flood insurance. Having the correct type of policy can help you pay for the arrangements. The Dryout Network has experience drying and restoring your water damaged home or business, as well as working with the various processes of an insurance claim.

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