Flood insurance is a type of coverage many people do not think about when they are buying insurance. However, floods are the most common type of natural disaster, and most typical homeowner policies do not provide flood coverage. Those caught without flood insurance often find themselves out of lots of money as well as valuable and cherished possessions. Read below to learn about the benefits of having a flood insurance policy.
The risk of flooding is real
The closer a house is to water, the more likely it is to flood. However, even houses that are several miles away from a water source can still see the effects of flood damage. In fact, research conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) indicates that ¼ of all flood insurance claims are made by people who live in moderate-to-low-risk areas. So many insurance claims come from these areas because it does not take a major body of water or a major storm to cause flooding. Flooding can occur as a result of a slow-moving storm or the overflowing of any water source.
Disaster assistance is not always available
Many people do not think it is necessary to have flood insurance because they will receive Federal disaster assistance. However, not every flooded area is declared as a Federal disaster area, and, therefore, disaster assistance is not granted. Further, even when someone is eligible for disaster assistance, it is usually given as a loan that needs to be paid back. Flood insurance provides the policyholder much more peace of mind since it is always there when it is needed. It can provide an adequate amount of money for repairs and replacements, and if it is used, there is no loan that needs to be repaid.
The damage from a flood can be severe and costly
Even a few inches of water can cause a lot of damage that can cost thousands of dollars. In fact, according to the National Flood Insurance Program, (NFIP), just one inch of flood water in a 2,000 square foot home can cause as much as $21,000 in damage. Plus, nothing is immune to water damage. It can completely ruin walls, floors, carpet, and even appliances. Homeowners who have flood insurance can replace all of these items.
What does flood insurance cover?
According to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), there are two basic parts of flood insurance: building property coverage and personal contents property coverage. Building property coverage protects the following:
- The insured building and its foundation
- Electrical and plumbing systems
- Central air conditioning, heating, and hot water systems
- Major kitchen appliances
- Permanently installed carpeting over unfinished floors
- Permanently installed paneling, wallboards, bookcases, and cabinets
- Window blinds
- Detached garages
- Debris removal
Personal contents property coverage protects the following:
- Clothing, furniture, and electronic equipment
- Portable and window air conditioners
- Portable microwave ovens and portable dishwashers
- Carpets that are not included in building coverage
- Washing machines and dryers
- Freezers and the food in them
- Valuable items such as original artwork and furs (up to $2,500)
What does flood insurance not cover?
Following are some exclusions that are not covered by typical flood insurance coverage:
- Damage caused by moisture, mildew, or mold that could have been avoided by the property owner
- Currency, precious metals, and valuable papers
- Property and belongings outside of an insured building including trees, plants, wells, septic systems, decks, patios, fences, seawalls, hot tubs, and swimming pools
- Living expenses, such as temporary housing
- Financial losses caused by business interruption
- Most self-propelled vehicles such as cars
Basements and other areas below the first floor
Most insurance policies do not include coverage for basements and other areas that are considered to be below-ground. Areas that are included in this distinction include:
- Crawl spaces
- Walk-out basements
- Enclosed areas under elevated buildings
How does flood insurance work?
A claim cannot be made on a flood insurance policy before 30 days after its purchase have passed. So, someone needing coverage should not delay in purchasing it. Also, similarly to automobile insurance policies, raising the deductible will reduce the premium payment amount.
Marine Agency offers flood insurance for both residential and commercial properties throughout the United States. Our friendly and knowledgeable agents can answer all of your questions regarding flood insurance and to help you find the perfect policy to meet your needs.
Call Marine Agency today to learn more about flood insurance or to request a quote.