If you’re a homeowner, one of the best things you can do is purchase homeowners insurance. Your home is one of the most important investments you make in your lifetime and a homeowners insurance policy will help protect that investment by covering damages caused by things like fire and many types of weather damage. But when you hear the words “weather damage,” do you think that would include damage caused by flooding? After all, many floods are caused by excessive amounts of rain, so you’d think damage caused by them would be covered by your homeowners insurance policy, right?
Many homeowners are under the impression that flood damage is covered by their homeowners insurance, only to find out the hard way that it isn’t actually covered. Most homeowners insurance plans cover some forms of water damage but do not cover flood damage, so if you want to protect your home from flood damage, you’ll most likely need a separate flood insurance policy. Damage caused by flooding can be astronomically expensive. According to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), the average claim for flood damage in 2014 was over $38,000, so purchasing flood insurance can help spare you from being hit with a massive expense.
However, there are a lot of misconceptions about flood insurance. Many people think they should only get flood insurance if they live in an area that’s at a high risk for flooding and that it’s a waste of money if your home has never flooded before. But the reality is that over 20% of flood insurance claims are made by people who live in areas that are considered low-to-moderate risk for flooding. Flooding can happen anywhere for a multitude of reasons, including excessive rainfall, rapidly melting snow, and construction projects in the area. Even if you don’t live anywhere near a body of water and never experienced flooding before, it’s still entirely possible you could find yourself dealing with a flood at some point.
If you live in an high-risk area for flooding, your mortgage company might require you to have flood insurance, but in most cases, nobody is going to require you to have flood insurance. But a lot of people are under the impression that they can’t get flood insurance or that flood insurance is very expensive. Virtually anyone can get flood insurance as long as they live in a city that participates in the NFIP. Like any other type of insurance, the price of flood insurance will largely depend on how much coverage you want to have and whether or not you live in an area prone to flooding.
Whether or not flood insurance is worth it is entirely up to you, but don’t feel like flood insurance is something that’s impossible to have. Just remember that it takes 30 days for flood insurance policies to become active, so be sure to keep that in mind if you’re looking to get covered in time for the winter thaw and springtime rainfall.