Flooding is the number one natural disaster in the US. And, over the past 5 years, almost every state has experienced floods or flash floods.
So, if you don’t think you need flood insurance, think again.
But, the question is, what type of flood insurance should you buy?
Check out this guide to learn how to pick the best flood insurance.
Who Needs Flood Insurance?
If you live in a high-risk flood zone and you have a mortgage out on your home, then you definitely need flood insurance.
If you’re living in an area that has a low to moderate risk for floods, then flood insurance usually isn’t mandatory. However, as you now know, floods happen everywhere, so you’ll be taking a gamble by not getting flood insurance.
If you’re on the fence about getting flood insurance, you can check out this flood map service center put together by FEMA to see if your home is in a hazard zone.
National Flood Insurance Program
The most common way to obtain flood insurance is to go through the National Flood Insurance Program.
This is a program that partners with various companies, many of whom are the largest insurers in the nation, to sell and manage flood insurance policies.
As long as you live in a participating community, you’re eligible to use NFIP’s services.
Understand What Flood Insurance Does and Doesn’t Cover
When shopping for flood insurance, it’s very important to understand what is covered and what isn’t covered.
If you find that there’s something you need to be covered that your flood insurance doesn’t cover, then you’ll likely need to take out a different type of insurance in addition to your flood insurance.
Here’s what is covered under flood insurance:
- Damage to the structure of your home, including the foundation of your home and the plumbing and electrical systems
- Damage to your belongings, such as electronics, clothing, appliances, and furniture
- Spoiled refrigerator food
- Debris removal
And, here’s what flood insurance doesn’t cover:
- Damage to your vehicle
- Injuries caused by a flood (this should be covered by your health insurance)
- Additional living expenses if you need to leave home, such as meals, hotels, etc
- Damage to outdoor property, such as patios, pools, fences, etc
- Damage to belongings that are stored in the basement
- Basement makeover projects, such as added carpeting or finished walls
The NFIP caps coverage at $250,000 for your home and $100,000 for your belongings. So, if you need to go beyond these limits, you may want to consider purchasing extra flood insurance.
Private Flood Insurance
Depending on where you live, you may also have the option to buy private flood insurance. Before you do, however, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of private flood insurance.
Here are the pros:
- You can get higher coverage limits if you live in a high-risk zone
- If your home has little history of flooding, you may get a cheaper deal
- There’s a shorter waiting period (14 days compared to 30 days0
And the cons:
- Mortgage lenders can reject private flood insurance
- If you live in a hazard zone, you may miss out on grant programs offered through NFIP and FEMA
- If you later decide to return to NFIP, you may see your rates go up
Are You Ready to Buy the Best Flood Insurance?
Now that you have this information in hand, it’s time to find the best flood insurance for you and your family.
Also, if you liked this article, be sure to check back in with our blog.