Most people don't carry coverage for flood damage and it's usually because they “aren't in a flood zone”. At least that is what we hear in our office on a regular basis. Interestingly enough, you may think you aren't in a flood zone, but believe it or not... Everyone is in a flood zone! Today I'd like to discuss a few misconceptions about flood insurance that we, at Harrell Agency Services, hear on a daily basis.
I'm not in a flood zone
First and foremost, everyone is in a flood zone. What most people mean is that they are in a low-risk flood zone, meaning that there is a very low possibility that their area will flood. Did you know that 20% of all flood damage comes from low-risk flood zones? Flood zones that even your mortgage company doesn't require you to carry flood insurance in! So before you completely dismiss purchasing flood insurance because “you aren't in a flood zone”, make sure you understand that there is still a decent chance that you could be at risk
My Homeowner's Insurance Covers Flood Damage
We used to be able to add flood insurance on to policies, but not anymore. Now, if you wish to be covered for flood damage, you have to purchase the coverage separately. Guess what... our average flood policy costs only $400 to $500 dollars a year. That's $40 to $50 a month if your home insurance is included in your mortgage payment. Some of our companies offer a slight discount on their homeowner's insurance policies, too, if you write the flood insurance with them. So that will help lower the cost as well!
I Need Flood Insurance To Cover Water Damage
If your home is “flooded” due to a windstorm damaging your roof, or due to a pipe bursting in your house, you do not need flood insurance to repair the damage. Normally, this would be covered under hurricane, wind or water damage on your home insurance policy, of course assuming that your policy covers those perils. Flood insurance is for rising water coming in from outside the home and has to occur on two or more acres of property. This is a shortened version of FEMA's definition of a flood.
Don't let the false security of “not living in a flood zone” prevent you from purchasing flood insurance. Most likely, you will never need it, but there is a small chance that you will, and proper coverage is a small price to pay for the peace of mind knowing that if, by chance, you do get flood damage, you are taken care of!