The most common natural disaster in the United States is flooding. From flash floods or hurricanes, homeowners face the threat of their homes and property flooding, whether they live in a high-risk area or not. Your home is probably your most valuable investment, so you likely already have a homeowners insurance policy. But does that policy cover flooding? Read on to learn more about flood insurance, flood insurance costs, and how to get free flood insurance quotes.
Will Homeowners Insurance Cover Flooding?
It might be confusing whether or not homeowners insurance covers flooding because most policies do cover some form of water damage. The key is homeowners insurance doesn’t cover damage from water that comes in contact with the ground outside before entering your home. So while your policy may cover burst pipes, overflowing toilets, and exploding water heaters, it won’t cover flooding because the flood water is on the ground outside before it enters your home. So as unfortunate as it sounds, typically homeowners policies don’t cover flooding. Instead, homeowners have the option of flood insurance.
Who Needs Flood Insurance?
Often when people wonder if they have flood insurance, they ask, “Am I in a flood zone?” But in reality, this question isn’t enough to determine if you should get flood insurance. Essentially, anyone who has a house can benefit from flood insurance. If you live in a designated flood plain, you are usually required to purchase flood coverage. But even if you live in an area that’s only low- to moderate-risk, you should consider flood insurance.
If your home is flooded, it can cost you thousands of dollars. According to the National Flood Insurance Program, one inch of water could cost you $25,000 in damage to your home and property. Even if you don’t live in a high-risk area, it doesn’t mean you’re not at risk for flooding. The NFIP says more than 20 percent of flood claims come from low- to moderate- risk areas. And after the flood, disaster assistance comes usually in the form of loans that must be repaid. So the only way to protect your home and that investment from a flood is a flood insurance policy.
How to Get Flood Insurance Coverage
There are two main ways to get flood insurance coverage: the NFIP and private flood insurance. The federal route, NFIP, is available in 22,000 participating communities and offers up to $250,000 in value for homes and $100,000 for belongings. One important thing to remember about federal coverage is there is a 30 day waiting period before coverage will kick in. So if there’s a storm approaching, you can’t buy a flood insurance policy and have it cover damages from that storm. The important thing is to be prepared and have a flood policy in advance.
Another common route is to use private flood insurance. Some homeowners find this beneficial because private insurance offers higher coverage limits and a shorter waiting period of only 14 days. Some homeowners are able to find cheaper policies if their homes have been added to a high-risk area recently.
Flood Insurance Cost
Flood insurance costs are fairly consistent for most policies. The average flood insurance cost is around $700 a year. If you live in a low- to moderate-risk area, your policy could be cheaper, around $474 a year as a preferred-risk policy. If you get coverage through a private insurer, your flood insurance cost could vary, and it’s hard to know the annual costs. The best way to determine the cost of a private flood insurance plan is to get a flood insurance quote. At Insurance Quotes, we offer free flood insurance quotes to help you determine what the cheapest option for coverage is. Our free flood insurance quotes can also help you figure out the best kind of coverage for your home.
What About Hurricane Insurance?
When thinking of flood insurance, you might also wonder about hurricane insurance coverage. If you live in a hurricane zone, one of your main risks for flooding is hurricanes. Hurricane insurance can be tricky because hurricanes involve a few different aspects of damage: rain damage, wind damage, and flood damage. Like other types of flooding, the flooding damage caused by a hurricane isn’t covered by homeowners policies, and you will need flood insurance.
However, for the rain damage from hurricanes, most homeowners policies typically do cover damage. Rainwater doesn’t touch the ground outside before entering the home, so the damages caused by the rainfall in hurricanes should be covered by your homeowners policy. Finally, wind damage coverage for hurricanes will depend on where you live. Most homeowners policies cover wind damage including from hurricanes, but if you live in a coastal region that’s high-risk, you might need to purchase a separate windstorm insurance policy.
For complete hurricane insurance coverage, you could potentially need three types of insurance. Luckily, each policy for hurricane insurance will cover these high-cost damages on your most important investment—your home.