Flood Insurance Basics for Homeowners

With all the heavy rains of the past few days, you may be dealing with more than just gloomy weather. Despite this fact, only 12 percent of U.S. homeowners have flood insurance, according to a 2016 poll by the Insurance Information Institute. It is a common misconception that your homeowners insurance policy will cover you in the result of a flood, but without flood insurance, you could be left dealing with costly repairs on your own.

HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE TYPICALLY DOES NOT COVER DAMAGE FROM FLOODS

Flood damage isn’t typically covered by your homeowners insurance. To get flood coverage, you need to get a flood insurance policy. Even homes that are not located in high risk can experience flooding. In fact, it is estimated that more than 20% of all flood insurance claims in the United States are filed by those not at high risk.

What Does Flood Insurance Cover?

Now that you know flood insurance is a separate policy, what exactly does it cover? FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) says you can purchase coverage to help protect your home, your personal belongings or both. Here are some of the basics for these two types of coverage:

Building property coverage

  • – What it can protect: The physical structure of your home and its foundation; plumbing and electrical systems; central air and heating systems; attached bookcases, cabinets and paneling; and a detached garage (other detached structures need their own policy).
  • – How it typically pays out: Replacement cost (what it would take to repair the home in today’s market) for a primary residence and actual cash value for vacation homes.

Personal contents coverage

  • – What it may help protect: This coverage is to protect your belongings. Clothing, furniture, electronics; some appliances; freezers and the foods within them; and certain valuables like art (up to a specified limit).
  • – How it typically pays out: Actual cash value basis (taking into account depreciation).

What Is NOT Typically Covered by Flood Insurance?

While flood insurance is important to protect your home and belongings from flood damage, it is also important to know what it doesn’t cover as well. Some types of property and expenses fall outside of the scope of a basic flood insurance policy, including:

  • 1. Preventable damage caused by moisture or mold/mildew. This falls into categories where routine maintenance could have avoided the problem, such as a leaking roof in need of repair.
  • 2. Currency, precious metals, and paper valuables like stock certificates.
  • 3. Outdoor property, such as decks, fences, patios, landscaping, wells, septic systems, hot tubs and pools.
  • 4. Living expenses, like temporary housing (should flood damage deems your home uninhabitable).
  • 5. Cars and other self-propelled vehicles. However, your auto insurance may offer some level of coverage.

Contact Your Local Agent About Flood Insurance

Flood insurance is provided by the federal government through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Your local CSC Insurance agent can help get you coverage today, before damage hits your homes. Chances are, you know someone dealing with flooding caused by the recent heavy rains.

Talk to an agent to ensure you understand your specific coverage details. Don’t wait until flood damage happens to you. Call us today at 724-929-2300. We can get you flood insurance that fits your needs and provides you peace of mind, no matter what nature brings your way.

For more information on flood insurance coverages, check out this summary from FEMA.

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