The average flood insurance claim payout for Hurricane Harvey was $117,192. Imagine not having flood insurance and paying for that cost out of pocket. If you are like most homeowners, you don’t have an extra hundred grand laying around.
If you’re unsure whether you need flood insurance, this guide will help you make the right choice.
Do I Need Flood Insurance?
Many people mistakenly think they don’t need flooding insurance because they have homeowners’ or renter’s insurance. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Both of these types of insurance do not include flooding.
You will need a separate policy to protect your home from even an inch of flooding. If your other insurance policies determine that damage is from flooding, they will not provide coverage, which means you must pull from your own savings or take on debt to make the necessary repairs.
Required Flood Insurance
If your home is in a known Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), you’ll be required to purchase flood insurance. This is especially the case if you have a mortgage on the property. Don’t purchase the required flood insurance, and you could be barred from federal disaster assistance in the future.
What Does Flood Insurance Cover?
Flood insurance coverage protects the structure of your home and its belongings. However, policies can have varying coverages, so you’ll want to review your policy carefully to understand how you’re protected.
The building coverage portion of your policy covers the home’s physical structure. This includes the foundation, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC system. It also includes anything permanently attached to the home, like carpeting, cabinets, large appliances, and built-in bookcases.
This portion of your policy will typically pay on a replacement cost basis. This is the cost of what it requires to repair the home in today’s values.
Personal Content Coverage
The personal contents coverage of the policy covers your belongings inside of the home. This includes furniture, moveable appliances, decor, clothes, toys, food, and valuables.
This part of your policy will typically pay out an actual cash value basis minus depreciation.
Flood Insurance Cost
Insurance for flooding can vary in cost depending on several factors. For example, flood insurance for a home will be more than a condo insurance cost for flooding. This is because the condo is much smaller and should have lower restoration costs.
The location of the property is a significant factor. Places that experience flooding more often will have higher flood insurance premiums.
In addition, your chosen deductible, the number and amount of coverages you choose, amenities, and estimated replacement cost are all factors in your final flood insurance bill.
Purchase Flood Insurance
To purchase flood insurance, you don’t have to live in a high-risk zone. All it takes is for an inch of water to cover your floors once, and the investment of flood insurance is well worth the cost. Experience a major flooding event, and flood insurance can be a financial life saver.
Check out our other home maintenance and repair articles for more helpful advice on keeping your home in tip-top condition.
Andrea Parker is a reporter for Zobuz. She previously worked at Huffington Post and Vanity Fair. Andrea is based in NYC and covers issues affecting her city. In addition to her severe coffee addiction, she’s a Netflix enthusiast, a red wine drinker, and a voracious reader.