If the conditions are right, flooding can occur anywhere.  Even if you live in a low-risk area, your property may still be vulnerable to flood damage.  However, did you know that flood insurance is not part of your homeowner’s policy coverages?

Although certain types of water damage are covered, flood damage is not part of standard homeowners or renters insurance coverage.  Flooding is considered a gradual event rather than an accidental or sudden event.  In the next section, we will explore the implications in more detail.

Types of Water Damage Covered by a Base Policy

Your base homeowner’s policy provides financial help for some types of water damage caused by rain.  For instance, if a storm damages your roof and water enters your home, the damage will be covered.  

But, if the water first touches the ground before entering your home, it is considered a flood or gradual event.  Other examples of gradual events are:

  • Mold, corrosion, or rot
  • Water that seeps through the foundation
  • Leaks resulting from clear negligence
  • Gradual plumbing leaks that cause damage

It can be confusing to understand why flood damage is excluded from a standard policy.  For instance, during a storm, tornado, or hurricane, your policy will cover damage caused by winds, but not the damage sustained by storm-related flooding.  

Why Is It a Good Idea to Buy Flood Insurance?

A flood insurance policy will give you peace of mind knowing your home is protected from any peril, no matter how complicated the rules of the insurance industry may be.

To help homeowners get the protection they need from flooding, the federal government created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).  Most insurance agencies in the United States offer this insurance.  It acts as additional protection, but it is a separate premium apart from your existing policy.

The NFIP defines flooding as “any temporary event where the surface of normally dry land is partially or completely underwater.” Flooding can be caused by a variety of events such as the overflow of a lake, river, or ocean.  It may also be a result of pooling or runoff of surface waters such as heavy rainfall.  Mudflows or collapse of land along the shore of a body of water are also considered flooding events.

What Is Covered by Flood Insurance?

Homeowners who live in high-risk areas known as floodplains will benefit the most from flood insurance.  But, even though you are in a low-risk area, it’s a good idea to have flood insurance coverage.  

Flood insurance coverage will protect a variety of things, including:

  • Foundation and attached staircases
  • Solar panels or other energy-related equipment
  • Well water pumps and storage tanks
  • Appliances inside the home
  • Plumbing and electrical systems
  • Drywall, paneling, wallboard
  • Cabinets, bookcases
  • Unattached buildings or garages

Do I need flood insurance?  Think about it this way. Damage to any of these areas of your property can result in extraordinary financial costs and inconvenience to your family.  A flood insurance policy will alleviate much of the hardship.

What Are the Exceptions? 

Unfortunately, flood insurance coverage doesn’t pay out for everything that is damaged by a flood.  

You won’t be allowed to file a flood damage claim for the following:  

  • Loss of access to or use of the property
  • Additional living expenses while the home is under repair
  • Plants, trees, decks, patios, pools, septic systems
  • Cars or other vehicles
  • Currency, valuable papers, precious metals
  • Financial loss if your business is interrupted by the flood

Talk to your agent about contents or basement coverage.  Most flood insurance policies do not cover basement improvements such as finished ceilings, walls, floors, or any personal belongings stored in the basement.  However, it does cover structural elements and essential equipment such as water heaters or furnaces. 

How Much Does Flood Insurance Cost?

The cost of flood insurance coverage varies depending on where you live, your property value, and other factors.  Forbes Advisor calculates the average flood policy cost to be about $995 annually.  That isn’t much compared to the cost of damages you might incur.  For instance, the average flood insurance claim costs about ,000.  

You can purchase two types of flood insurance:  Building Property Damage and Personal Property Coverage.  The more coverage you purchase, the higher your premium.  

Consider your needs and the cost of a potential loss before making your decision.  Your agent is a valuable resource for advice and information about what type of coverage is best for your family.

Do You Need Flood Insurance?  Our Experts Can Help You Decide

If you aren’t sure whether to purchase flood insurance, let us help you make the right decision.  At Sandifer Insurance Agency, we have over 40 years of experience in helping customers get the right coverage for their needs.  

Making sure your home has adequate coverage in the event of a flood is not something to leave to guesswork.  Contact us today for more information about flood insurance.  We’ll be happy to answer your questions and provide a free quote.  


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