MEMPHIS, Tenn. — It’s something to think about right now and always.
Did you know that flood insurance is something extra you have to buy?
It’s typically not coverage included in your regular homeowner’s insurance.
Q: I already have a homeowners insurance policy. Why do I need it?
A: Most homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage. Only flood insurance covers the cost of rebuilding after a flood.
Q: My community has never flooded, so why would I need it?
A: Flooding can happen due to poor drainage systems, summer storms, melting snow, construction, and broken water mains. In high-risk areas, there’s at least a ¼ chance of flooding during 30 year mortgage.
Q: I live outside of the high-risk flood area, why do I need it?
A: policyholders outside of high-risk flood areas file over 20 percent of all NFIP flood insurance claims and require one third of fed disaster assistance for flooding
So, what does flood insurance cover? Typically it covers a certain amount for the structure and a certain amount for the contents of your home.
With the building coverage, you can expect electrical and plumbing systems to be covered; furnaces and water heaters; built-in appliances and refrigerators; permanent carpeting; permanently-installed cabinets; window blinds; foundation walls; anchorage systems; staircases; and detached garages.
As far as coverage for the contents in your home, that will be personal belongings: furniture; clothing; curtains; microwave; window air units; carpets that aren’t included in building coverage; and valuable items such as original art and furs up to $2,500.
Who needs flood insurance? There are some people required to have it.
Homes and businesses in high-risk flood areas with government-backed mortgages are required to have flood insurance.
While flood insurance is not federally required if you live outside of the high-risk area, your lender may still require you to have insurance, according to floodsmart.gov.
If you live in a high-risk flood area and have received federal disaster assistance – including grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) – you must maintain flood insurance in order to be considered for any future federal disaster aid. That’s from floodsmart.gov as well.
Check out the FEMA flood map tool online to see if you might be in a flood zone: https://www.floodsmart.gov/flood-map-zone
How do you get flood insurance? Call your insurance agent.
There’s normally a 30-day waiting period from date of purchase until your flood insurance policy goes into effect.
Some exceptions: if you purchase flood insurance while making, increasing, extending, or renewing your mortgage loan; if you change your floor insurance coverage on your renewal bill; or if you have a new home or business that was recently built.
How much does flood insurance cost? Depends on several factors.
Just 1 inch of water can cause $25,000 of damage to your home, according to floodsmart.gov. So, this is considered an investment by many.
A number of things are considered when insurance determines what your annual flood insurance premium will be. This includes flood risk; the type of coverage being purchased; the location of the coverage; design and age of home or business.
While flood insurance isn’t necessarily cheap, there are ways to save: https://www.floodsmart.gov/flood-insurance-cost/savings
Won’t FEMA pay if my home floods? Maybe, but only if there’s a presidentially declared disaster.
If you’ve gotten FEMA help before, you or anyone who later owns your home may be required to maintain flood insurance moving forward.
Disaster assistance typically comes in the form of loans that must be repaid, with interest, floodsmart.gov warns.
Disaster assistance from FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration is designed to kick-start recovery, but is not enough restore your home to its pre-disaster condition or to replace your treasured household items, the government site says.
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