We’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.
Here are some other flood tools: