May 13 2010 8:38 AM

Who really needs to buy flood insurance?

You don’t have to live near a river or in an area prone to hurricanes to have water damage your home. After a severe rainstorm, drainage systems could become clogged and water could back up into your home. Flooding happens in all 50 states, even in areas not considered at risk. So, it’s important that you carefully consider whether adding flood coverage to your homeowner policy makes sense for you.

Standard home insurance doesn't offer coverage for damage resulting from floods and earthquakes. Flood insurance covers the structure of your house as well as personal property inside your home from damage. When you are evaluating flood insurance quotes, be sure to note the differences between regular water damage and water damage from floods. Your homeowner’s policy could cover “water damage” from a burst pipe, but not from a flood. So, even if your current policy states that it covers “water damage,” you will likely still need additional insurance to protect your home from flood damage.

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Laura Adams is a personal finance expert and award-winning author who is Senior Insurance Analyst for InsuranceQuotes.com. She represents Bankrate Insurance’s web properties in the media and works as an advocate to make sure consumers protect their financial futures by having the right kinds of insurance.

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