March 24, 2022
All You Need to Know About Flood Insurance
Searching for an insurance policy can be challenging. If you are looking for a flood insurance policy for your home, use this guide to walk through everything you need to know about purchasing a flood coverage plan.
What Is Flood Insurance?
Flood insurance is a policy that protects your home’s structure and internal belongings from damages caused by floodwater. It is completely separate from general home insurance, which does not typically cover flood damage. Your flood insurance policy will break down into two categories, which will give you extensive coverage:
- Building coverage: Building flood coverage protects your home’s permanent structural features and any free-standing buildings, including permanent flooring, built-in bookcases or cabinets, staircases, foundation and garages. Further, building coverage will protect many of your home’s essential appliances, like furnaces, refrigerators and stoves, and equipment, like fuel tanks and water pumps.
- Contents coverage: Flood insurance differs largely from homeowners insurance because it protects many of your personal belongings. Contents flood coverage includes furniture, clothing, curtains and removable carpets. You can also safeguard additional appliances, like window air conditioning units, washers and dryers. With personal coverage, you can protect what makes your house feel like a home.
Understanding what your flood coverage plan includes can help you determine what you need from insurance providers and distinguish its services from homeowners insurance.
Flood Insurance FAQs
When considering investing in flood coverage, many homeowners have several questions about their risk level and the insurance process. Especially since flood insurance is a unique coverage type, homeowners may have specific concerns about it.
If you are searching for a flood insurance plan and have questions, explore these frequently asked inquiries to clarify this process.
Is Flood Insurance Mandatory?
There are no federal or state policies requiring homeowners to purchase flood insurance. However, if you live in a designated flood zone, most mortgage lenders will require you to buy and provide proof of flood insurance before approving your loan. Because they are investing in your home and finances, they also want assurance that you can protect these in the case of a natural disaster. Further, people living in higher-risk areas and using government financing will also need to purchase flood insurance.
Does My Home Need Flood Insurance?
While many people purchase flood insurance to meet the requirements of lenders and financers, they still don’t see the need for it, especially those living in low-risk areas. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) estimates that more than 25% of flood insurance claims are from low-risk areas. Further, they determine that damages can cost around $25,000 from just 1 inch of floodwater in your home.
Regardless of your home’s risk level and lender requirements, investing in flood insurance can help protect your residence and finances from the unpredictable. Flooding can occur at any point in the year — whether during winter thaws, summer storms or spring rains. Flood insurance gives you comprehensive year-round coverage.
How Do I Determine My Flood Risk?
When investing in flood insurance, you can understand your coverage needs more effectively by learning your area’s and home’s flood risk. FEMA has many resources available to homeowners to help them discover their area’s flood risk level, including an interactive flood map, which allows you to insert your address and learn your flood risk zone. Other measures you can take to determine your flood risk include:
- Considering weather patterns: You can understand your area’s flood risk by researching local weather patterns. If you live somewhere that gets a lot of hurricanes or snowstorms, you may be more susceptible to flooding.
- Checking foundation and entry points: Your home’s preventative and protective measures can help decrease its risk of serious flood damage. Regardless of which risk level you live in, you can protect your home from water damage by sealing and caulking its foundation and entry points. Giving extra attention to cracks or entry points in your home’s lower level or basement can help you identify your house’s flood risk and protect it in the future.
- Assessing landscape: Noting your landscape also enables you to gauge your home’s flood risk. Living at the bottom of a hill may increase your risk of flooding because water can pool around your house during heavy rains. Additionally, living near bodies of water, like rivers, streams and lakes, or on the coast can increase your risk of floods on your property. However, inserting pumps and drains can help reduce your property’s flood dangers and better protect your home.
Knowing your home’s flood risk can help you select the best insurance policy for your needs so you can properly prepare for floods.
Can I Bundle Flood Insurance With Other Policies?
Many homeowners bundle home and auto insurance policies to track payments more adequately and receive benefits. Because of this, many homeowners want to bundle their flood insurance plans with other policies for the same reason. However, many insurance providers don’t offer this service for flood insurance.
While this may not be an option for you, you can simplify your policy management by signing up for flood insurance with the same provider as your other policies. When you work with the same provider and agent, you collaborate with someone who understands your needs and situation well and can offer plans and services tailored to you.
When Can I Sign up for Flood Insurance?
You can sign up for flood insurance at any time of the year, though you may have to wait for at least 30 days for the policy to process. However, this 30-day wait period can be lifted if you need the policy sooner for a home closing.
If you are moving into a new home, your home’s previous owner can transfer you their flood insurance policy for a more seamless transition. Further, since they have lived there before and understand the flood risk, you can be sure their policy will fit your home’s needs.
Private Flood Insurance
When choosing your flood insurance provider, you can select between FEMA’s government-funded National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or a private company. While many homeowners turn to NFIP because of its convenience, private insurance policies offer various benefits to protect individuals from floods more efficiently.
NFIP only covers up to $250,000 in structural coverage and $100,000 for personal belongings. If your home and belongings have a higher worth than this, private insurance policies can provide additional coverage for your house. Many private insurance policies have increased coverage options so you can protect more under your policy.
Many private insurance providers offer cheaper premiums than NFIP, allowing you to save by using a private insurer. Especially since NFIP relies on government approval to receive funds, a private insurance company can better cover and budget your insurance coverage.
Insure Your Home With Lewis Insurance and Financial
Protecting your home is your top priority as a homeowner, and carefully researching to find an insurance provider you trust will help you maintain this goal. Especially with floods, which are challenging to predict, investing in quality insurance can help you prepare for the unexpected.
At Lewis Insurance and Financial, we offer comprehensive homeowners insurance policies to help protect your home and belongings from various threats. Our agents work directly with homeowners to find them a policy that best fits their needs for personalized care. Request a quote today from Lewis Insurance and Financial to give your home the protection it needs.
Looking For Something Else?
Related Blog Posts
Starting college is an exciting time of transition in a young person’s life. In many cases, they’re going to be living on their own for the first time and experiencing…
You have a water line break, gallons of water are spilling out of the ground on your property and your lawn is quickly becoming a swamp. It may not be…
Between sports gear, college applications and braces, teens can come with seemingly endless expenses. When it’s time for them to start driving, insurance becomes yet another cost. But contrary to…
Renters insurance, or tenant’s insurance, is vital to protect your personal possessions, liability and any additional living expenses. Renters insurance acts as an important safety net to assure your personal…
If you are the victim of an auto accident caused by another driver, you could incur serious injuries requiring extensive — and expensive — medical treatment. In Pennsylvania, you have…
Shopping for car insurance can be a tricky process, especially if it is your first time. There are many considerations to make to determine which kind of coverage is the…
In this day in age, virtually every business utilizes technology in some way or another. As your business moves forward with the latest and greatest in technological advances, you should…
Usage-based insurance (UBI) is an emerging feature in car insurance that correlates insurance price to a user’s real-world driving information. As the name suggests, UBI insurance requires an in-vehicle device that monitors…