Flood Insurance Myths
When it comes to flooding and how it affects your insurance, there is a lot of misinformation floating around. Homeowners often do not learn exactly what is in their homeowners insurance policies until well after a flood has occurred. At this point it is too late to make changes and they find themselves stuck with a good sized bill.
Do you have flood insurance? If not, can you get it? Are you eligible for federal assistance? Let’s examine a few of the more common myths related to flooding.
#1: I have homeowners insurance, so I do not need flood insurance. The fact is that most homeowners policies do not cover flooding. You will need to purchase additional coverage for an additional premium to guarantee the coverage you need.
#2: I don’t live in a flood plain, so I do not need insurance. The fact is that flooding occurs in every part of the country, and 25% of all flood insurance claims come from areas best described as low to moderate risk.
#3: I live by the ocean, so no one will sell me flood insurance. With very few exceptions, flood insurance is available anywhere in the US, as long as the community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (MFIP).
#4: Flood insurance wasn’t required when I bought my home….why do I need it now? Any area can flood if the conditions are right. You don’t have to live near a lake or stream to see flooding….a burst pip or blocked sewer line can have the same effect.
#5: Flood insurance covers the whole house. Actually, it doesn’t cover your basement contents in the event of basement flooding. The structure is covered, as are major equipment such as appliances, but basement and crawlspace items are not.
#6: Flood insurance will strain my budget. Low risk areas will be cheaper to insure than high risk, with correspondingly lower premiums. The average flood insurance policy is less than $500 yearly.
#7: FEMA will cover flood damage. Only if your area is declared a national disaster, and this only happens about half the time. Do you really want to run those odds when it comes to your home and possessions?
#8: I live in an apartment, so I cannot buy flood insurance. You can actually buy policies to cover any home, apartment, condo, or business.
#9: I have been flooded before, so no one will cover me. If your community is a part of the NFIP, then you can still get flood insurance. It is an even better incentive to do so if you have been flooded before.