Does homeowners insurance cover flooding?


flooded streetWe’ve said it many times before and we’ll no doubt say it again: Typical homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage. This is one of the biggest consumer misconceptions we hear – and a painful, costly lesson to learn by experience. You need a separate flood insurance policy to be covered – and your policy must be in place for at least 30 days to be in effect, so a last-minute purchase when you hear about flooding potential would be too late. September is National Preparedness Month, and in this first week, the emphasis is on flood prep – so it’s a good reminder.

Now if you have water in the cellar from a burst pipe or some other household failure, your homeowners insurance may cover your flooded basement damage. But for storm-related, flooding damage, you’d need flood coverage. Here’s a listing of what is typically covered in a flood insurance policy.

While you may think your flood risk is negligible, floods and flash floods happen in all 50 states. Here are a few interesting flood facts from floodsmart.gov that you may not know:

  • In the past 5 years, all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods; Flash floods often bring walls of water 10 to 15 feet high.
  • People outside of mapped high-risk flood areas file over 20-percent of all National Flood Insurance Program flood insurance claims and receive one-third of Federal Disaster Assistance for flooding.
  • Your home has a 26% chance of being damaged by a flood during the course of a 30-year mortgage, compared to a 9% chance of fire.
  • A car can easily be carried away by just two feet of floodwater.
  • From 2010 to 2014, the average flood claim amounted to nearly $42,000.

Learn more about your flood risk and get an estimated coverage cost. If you don’t have flood coverage, it’s time to talk things over with your independent insurance agent.

Here are some other flood tools: