If you are one of the millions of people who live in low-lying areas or flood plains, you already understand the importance of flood insurance. In fact, you probably already have flood coverage as required by your mortgage lender. For those who live in moderate or low-risk areas, however, the decision to purchase flood insurance may be discretionary. Without a history of prior flooding, you may wonder if you really need the extra coverage. Continue reading to learn how to assess your real risk of flooding and how damaging water can be to your home and belongings.
Who Is At-Risk of Flooding?
Everyone is vulnerable to floods, regardless of prior flood history. Sure, your basement might not fill up every time it rains, but what about when your community receives a record rainfall? Scenarios such as this are becoming more and more common every year. The National Flood Insurance Program, or NFIP, reports that 1 in 5 flood insurance claims are made by homeowners who live outside of high-risk areas.
Many people go without flood insurance, making them vulnerable to tens of thousands of dollars in potential damages. Unfortunately, disaster assistance is only available in areas that are declared disaster zones. Even then, any aid you receive is usually in the form of a loan that must be repaid with interest. The NFIP has tools that allow you to assess your personal risk of flood and also find out how much a flood could cost you.
Acquiring Flood Insurance
Flood insurance is an affordable way of protecting yourself against the devastating damages of a flood. Homeowners insurance does not cover losses due to flooding, you can only get coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program. This program is designed to help you repair your home and replace its contents when damaged by a flood. The NFIP defines a flood as an accumulation of surface water that covers more than two acres that are normally dry. You do not have to be part of a disaster area to make a flood insurance claim. Our team here at Couri Insurance can help you find out more about flood insurance and the 30-day waiting period that applies before coverage becomes effective.
Other Recommended Coverage
Flooding is not the only way water can damage your home. In fact, you could be at risk of water-related losses caused by hazards in and around your property. Your homeowners insurance likely covers at least some of those risks, including damages caused by sudden and accidental overflow or discharge of water. This might include a broken dishwasher water line or rainwater that comes into your home through storm damage in your roof. Your insurer will investigate the source of the damage and determine if your claim is payable based on its cause. Generally, claims for damages caused by poor home maintenance are not covered.
Sewer and Water Backup
It is easy to miss, but sewer and water backup is usually excluded from coverage on a standard homeowners insurance policy. You can still get coverage however, but you must add it in the form of an endorsement for a small extra cost. Most homeowners consider it a worthwhile benefit, and we highly recommend it, as raw sewage backed up into your home can cost a small fortune to remediate. Furthermore, a backup can happen to nearly anyone, whether due to a blockage, invasive tree roots, or an aging pipeline.
Do you have an endorsement for sewer and water backup on your homeowners insurance policy?