Did you know that your home is more likely to be affected by a flood than by a fire? In fact, floods are the leading cause of natural disasters in the US. Most people don’t know that standard home insurance does not cover damage caused by floods, only flood insurance will help you recover the losses.
Who needs flood insurance?
Flooding is the result of hurricanes and torrential rains. Flood insurance becomes necessary when you live in an area with a high risk of flooding, but since flooding also occurs in inland areas, which are far away from rivers and coastal areas, you need it there as well.
Features of flood insurance
Most policies offer the following three types of coverage:
1. Building coverage
This coverage protects your buildings against physical damage for both residential and non-residential properties.
2. Content Coverage
It covers your personal belongings and items in the home, such as ovens, clothes and furniture.
3. Coverage of replacement costs
This allows you to reimburse the costs of replacing your home. Only single family owners can get this insurance and about 80% of the total replacement price can be reimbursed.
There is a 30-day waiting period for the covers to take effect, so don’t wait until flood season to buy the policy. This also applies to changes to the existing policy. This is specifically designed to avoid claiming cover for ongoing losses or if major storms are coming. This period does not apply to policy renewals.
What is covered and what is not?
Apartments, houses, condos, and even your businesses are eligible for flood insurance. Flood insurance policies are not as comprehensive as most homeowners policies. The policy generally covers dryers and washing machines, freezers and food in them, stairs, water tanks, ceilings, oil tanks, walls and ovens. The insurance company will pay for basic living expenses, such as hotel and food while your home is being refurbished, but will not pay for additional living expenses.
Flood insurance will extend to detached garages, but you will have to pay for other structures if they qualify for coverage under another flood policy. Policies also do not cover basement improvements and objects in the basement.
Flood insurance limits
Insurance limits are the maximum amount the policy pays for damage suffered. If you incur losses in excess of the policy limit, you are responsible for them. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) insures structural elements of the building up to $250,000 for residential buildings and $500,000 for non-residential buildings.
Content coverage under the program insures properties up to $100,000 for residential policies and $500,000 for non-residential policies. Policies are available for additional coverage if you need to cover losses that exceed NFIP’s defined limits.