Understanding Flood Insurance
As a homeowner, you might think your standard insurance policy covers all types of damage to your home, but you might be surprised to discover that flood damage isn’t included. You must purchase a separate flood insurance policy if you want to protect your home from hurricanes, storms, or overflowing riverbanks.
Do I need it?
Homebuyers who purchase property in high-risk zones must purchase a flood policy to secure a mortgage. Those who live in low or mid risk areas aren’t required to buy it, but it can be beneficial because nature is unpredictable. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, every state has experienced a flood at some point within the past five years.
Purchasing a separate insurance policy protects your home from damage and reimburses you for lost belongings and personal property. This includes damages to your home’s foundation and structure or personal possessions such as appliances, furniture, or electronics. It also pays for the removal of debris due to damage.
The most popular way to obtain insurance is by purchasing a policy through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) operated by the Federal government. The maximum amount of coverage available for your home is $250,000, while the limit for personal belongings is capped at $100,000. The government requires a 30-day waiting period before coverage starts. You also have the option to purchase a private policy to get more coverage than the government offers. You might also opt to buy additional coverage to obtain it quicker than the standard 30 day wait.
FEMA reports that the average policy costs $700 per year. Rates will be lower for residents in low or mid-risk areas. Other factors that impact the cost of a policy include:
• The style of your home
• Where you store your belongings
• How many floors you have in the dwelling
• Building materials and age of your home
• Deductible and coverages you chose for your policy