Flood damage isn’t typically covered by your home insurance policy. It is a separate policy to acquire in order to cover your home against the destruction left behind once the flood waters recede.
Who Needs Flood Insurance?
It is a misconception that you only need flood insurance if you live near the shore, on a lake, or near the river. Everyone needs flood coverage – even if you do not live in what is described as a “high risk” area. Some mortgage companies even require you to purchase flood insurance for as long as you are repaying your loan.
Floods occur for a wide range of reasons including any and all of the following:
- Slow moving storms
- Snow melt
- Dams bursting
- Blocked drainage systems
- Storm surge from hurricanes, nor’easters, and tropical storms
- Rising rivers
- Overflowing lakes
Even creeks in outlying areas that overflow due to backups resulting from overflowing rivers that feed them
You can be far away from major bodies of water and still quite vulnerable to flooding. Only flood insurance covers the damage left behind by floodwaters that get into your home.
What’s the Big Deal About Floods?
The big problem with floods isn’t necessarily the damage you see. It’s easy to see that you need to replace carpets, furniture, and other possessions touched by the water. What’s not so easy to see is the damage flooding does to the structure of your home. Not only do you need to repair and replace the items that are visibly damaged, but there is much work that must be done below the surface in order to protect the structural integrity of your home. That gets costly.
You see beneath the drywall, paneling, or plaster covering the skeleton of your home is a framework of wood studs, wiring, lathe, and insulation. All of these things are vulnerable to water.
Electric wiring could short causing power outages or fires. Insulation, wood, and lathe, however, are extremely susceptible to mold and mildew which will, over time, destroy your home and could potentially cause respiratory illnesses to everyone in the home.
Flood insurance provides you with the means to replace the damage for the health and safety of everyone in your home, as well as the structural integrity of the home – things that are often overlooked in an effort to cut costs if you do not have flood insurance when floods occur.
What Does Flood Insurance Protect?
Flood insurance can be purchased to protect the structure of your home for up to $250,000 and to protect your personal possessions for up to $100,000. Property coverage extends to the following:
- Building and foundation
- Electrical and plumbing
- Central air conditioning, furnaces, and water heaters
- Kitchen appliances
- Installed carpets
- Built-in bookcases and cabinetry
- Detached garages and outbuildings
- Debris removal
Personal property coverage extends to items that belong inside your home and includes:
- Freezers (and the food stored in them)
- Washing machines and clothes dryers
- Electronic equipment
- Area rugs
It’s worth mentioning that personal property is covered at an actual cash value rate and subject to depreciation rather than covered at the cost of replacing those items.
Whether you are renting a home or own your own home, it’s important to get adequate flood insurance coverage to protect your financial interests if a flood occurs.
You probably have questions about flood insurance and whether it’s right for you. At Phoenix Insurance Group, we can help walk you through this important decision process. Call us today at 908-879-6500 to discuss your flood insurance needs.