You are likely aware if your home is in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) because you will be required to have coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). But flooding isn’t restricted to flood zones anymore.
Severe climate pattern shifts are causing catastrophic floods in areas of the United States that haven’t experienced those in centuries. As is often the case, it’s far better to be safe than sorry, which means that every homeowner should consider their need for flood insurance.
What constitutes a flood?
First, let’s be clear on what, exactly, is a flood. By the NFIP’s definition, a flood occurs when land that is normally dry becomes partially or completely submerged as a result of:
- Land collapse along a water body due to a wave or surge in current;
- Overflow (inland or coastal water);
- Pooling/runoff of surface waters.
If your property is damaged by water and your neighbors are in the same boat, there’s probably a flood-related issue. If the problem’s limited to your address, though, flooding isn’t likely your root cause.
Should I get flood insurance?
The number one question we get on this topic is, “Should I get flood insurance if I’m not in a flood zone?” With longer and more vicious hurricane seasons, freak tornadoes and periods of unrelenting rain making headlines, most people end up answering their own question.
Here’s the thing. FEMA — the Federal Emergency Management Agency — creates flood zone maps with the goal of providing updates every five years. Budgetary constraints have prevented the Agency from hitting that goal and most flood zone maps are woefully out of date.
The importance of flood insurance
Water damage can result in thousands of dollars in home repair — typically around $30,000, as a matter of fact. Carpeting, flooring and subflooring. Appliances and furniture. The foundation. The HVAC. The wiring and plumbing. Mold and mildew. Flooding can be a real-life nightmare, especially for those without flood insurance.
Standard homeowner policies tend to cover water damage that “comes down,” including leaky pipes and bathtubs that overflow, whereas flood insurance protects you from damages that result from water that “comes up”. Review your policy carefully to see what protections you currently have in place, and then consider additional coverage you’d be wise to add.
How do I get flood insurance?
Flood insurance is federally-backed and attainable through the aforementioned NFIP. In contrast to other policy types, flood insurance comes at a standard price. If you live in a zone designated as higher risk, you’ll pay more than those who live in an area of lower risk. To secure coverage, all you have to do is contact your insurance agent.
Residential property can be insured up to $250,000 for the building and $100,000 for the building’s contents. For those who live in a “low-risk” zone, flood insurance typically costs less than $450 per year. You can, of course, influence your premium by adjusting your deductible. A higher deductible will mean a lower premium, and vice versa.
Ready to protect your property?
Don’t wait until the threat of flood is imminent. Connect with the Independent Insurance Associates team today, and we’ll have you protected in 30 days.