Did you know that only 12% of US homeowners have flood insurance? If you live in Florida, you should not be one of them. The likelihood of having flood damage due to a hurricane is high. Plus, your homeowner’s insurance policy does not cover floods. If you don’t have flood insurance, here are some things you should know.
Home Insurance Rarely Covers Flood Damage
In general, your home insurance will not cover flood damage. To get flood coverage, you need to buy a separate policy through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). This is a federal program to help homeowners just like you.
Additionally, some homeowners think that flood insurance is only for high-risk areas. That is simply not true. All 50 states experience flooding. The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s statistics show that more than 1 in 5 claims come from areas with low to moderate risk. So, even if you think you are safe from floods, having flood insurance is a good idea.
What Does Flood Insurance Protect?
Flood insurance can help protect the following:
- Home: Structure, foundation, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, built-in cabinets and bookcases, wood paneling, and detached garage. If you have other detached structures, they will need their own policy.
- Personal belongings: furniture, clothing, electronics, portable appliances, freezers and the food in them, valuables up to a limit.
You can decide to get coverage that protects one or the other or both.
For the home coverage, the NFIP program pays replacement cost for your primary residence. This means they will repair your home in today’s dollars. For vacation homes, they pay in actual cash value. However, the coverage limit is $250,000.
For personal belongings coverage, the program pays in actual cash value. This means that they depreciate your items and give you money based on what they are worth today, not what it would cost to replace them. The coverage limit is $100,000.
What Is Not Covered by Flood Insurance?
It is just as important to know what is not covered by your flood insurance policy. Based on the NFIP coverage summary, the following is not covered by the basic policy:
- Any mold or mildew damage that could have been prevented
- Gold, silver, and other precious metals
- Valuable paper items like stock certificates
- Outdoor property items such as fences, patios, decks, landscaping, hot tubs, pools, septic systems, and wells
- Additional living expenses if your home is inhabitable
- Cars, motorcycles, and other vehicles
- Limited coverage for rooms underground like basements, contents in a basement, and crawl spaces.
Since flooding isn’t the only way to get water damage, you should also understand your home policy and what it covers. Then look at both policies together to be sure that you have the right protection in case of an event such as a hurricane.
At Aftermath Adjusters & Consulting, we’d be happy to look over your current insurance policies to help you determine any gaps in your coverage. As public adjusters, we understand how difficult damage claims can be. We also understand how devastating it is to find out that you don’t have the right coverage when it is too late. Give us a call today.