Did you know that your homeowners’ policy does not cover flood insurance? That’s right – if your home is damaged by a flood, you will not be reimbursed unless you have specific flood coverage. This type of insurance is separate from your homeowners’ policy. And good news: it’s relatively inexpensive.

Let’s talk about why it is important to have flood insurance and discuss tips on protecting yourself from potential damages.

What’s Included in Home Insurance?

Your home insurance policy is made up of several parts, each of which covers a different aspect of your home and belongings.

  • Dwelling coverage: Provides payments for repairs or rebuilding your home if it’s damaged by a covered event.
  • Other structures coverage:  Provides payments for repairing or replacing your property’s detached structures, like garages and fences.
  • Personal property coverage: Reimburses you for the cost of replacing personal belongings that are damaged, lost, or stolen in a covered event.
  • Liability coverage: Covers damages and legal expenses if you are sued for causing bodily injury or property damage to someone else.

Without a homeowners’ policy, you would be responsible for paying for these repairs and replacements out of your pocket.

What’s Not Included in Home Insurance?

Homeowners’ insurance is designed to protect your home and belongings in the event of damage or theft from a covered event. However, homeowners’ insurance policies do not typically cover damage from several specifically named events. Floods, earthquakes, sinkholes, and landslides are all excluded from most policies. And sometimes, wind and/or hail damage may be excluded.

As a result, it’s essential to read your insurance policy to be aware of what’s not covered so that you can plan accordingly. For example, if you live in an area prone to floods, you may need to purchase separate flood insurance. Floods cause $40 billion in damage worldwide yearly, so it’s important to be prepared.

Why Is It Important to Have Flood Coverage?

Flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States, and anyone living in a high-risk area is at risk for damage to their home or business. Even if you don’t live in a high-risk area, you may still suffer some damage – about 20% of all flood claims come from properties outside of high-risk areas. Your policy may also consider “rising water” as “flood,” and that can mean any number of things: heavy rain, a drain backup, etc.

It’s important that you don’t wait to purchase flood insurance coverage.  Here’s why:

  • No home can be entirely safe from flood damage.
  • A single inch of water can damage your property to the cost of $25,000 or more.
  • If your home is damaged by a flood, you will not be reimbursed by your homeowners’ insurance policy unless you have purchased separate flood coverage.
  • Most policies have a 30-day waiting period before they go into effect.
  • Flood insurance can be very affordable, and it’s important to purchase it now so that you’re covered in the event of a flood.

Rules To Follow – Don’t Wait to Buy It When You Need It!

When you start thinking about flood insurance, make sure to enlist the help of an insurance agent who specializes in this area. They can help you understand what your risks are and how much coverage you’ll need to protect yourself.

Check that your community is participating in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The NFIP is a government-backed program that offers flood insurance to homeowners and businesses in participating communities.

One final rule to follow – don’t wait to buy flood insurance when you actually need it. In most cases, there is a 30-day waiting period before your coverage goes into effect. So, if you wait until there’s a storm on the horizon, you won’t be protected against flooding.