Flood Insurance… Do I have it? Do I need it?
Have you ever wondered about what you would do if you had a house flood? Chances are if your home has never flooded or you don’t live in a flood zone you haven’t. Will you be covered by your home owners or rental insurance if you have an accidental flood? Maybe a broken pipe, too much rain, or maybe someone leaves the garden hose on and floods the basement (obviously that one isn’t from my experience J ) Lucky for you, we are here to answer that question.
Standard homeowners and rental insurance does not cover flood damage. Flood coverage, however, is available in the form of a separate policy both from the National Flood Insurance Program - NFIP and from a few private insurers; we will cover this in a minute.
Your home owners and rental insurance will cover some damage from rain, but if your home is filled with water as a result of rising bodies of lakes, rivers, streams, and ocean, or a lot of rain, it won't cover you. If you’re taking out a mortgage on a property that’s in a high-risk zone (also called a Special Hazard Flood Area), your lender will require you to buy a policy in order to get the loan.
If you are required to purchase Flood Coverage or if you choose to, where do you get it? You need to talk to your insurance agent and ask if they offer it through the NFIP. Most agents do, but if they don’t ask around and find one that does. You cannot get insurance directly through NFIP. The federal government offers coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program at an average cost of about $700 per year. But premiums vary depending on your property's flood risk. If you have questions whether Flood Coverage would be worth it for you talk to your local insurance agent for more information.