If you are buying a home or maybe just rethinking your insurance, you may ask yourself, “Should I get flood insurance if the house has never flooded?” It’s a reasonable question after all. If the home has existed for 20 or 30 years and has never flooded, is it likely to ever flood? Especially if you’re in Flood Zone X, why get flood insurance then?
Well, you may have heard the saying, “If it can rain where you are, then it can flood.” The point is, even if flooding is extremely unlikely, it is never impossible. Plus, if you do live in a low-risk area, then flood insurance will be very affordable.
If you still are unsure whether or not to buy flood insurance, keep reading. Here are some other facts to help you make a decision.
Flood damage is not covered by your homeowner’s insurance
Homeowner’s insurance only covers water that falls from the sky. Once water touches the ground and enters your home, it’s a flood, and only flood insurance will pay for the damage.
Your homeowners insurance will cover you if, for example, a tree limb causes a hole in your roof from a storm and rainwater damages your ceiling or floor. Flood insurance is only available if the creek in your area overflows into your home.
For a more precise definition, the National Flood Insurance Program uses the following definition of flood:
A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land area or of two or more properties (at least one of which is your property) from overflow of inland or tidal waters, from unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source, or from mudflow.
👉 Helpful Article: A Brief Overview of Homeowner’s Insurance
It’s simply a matter how high the risk of flooding is. The NFIP will tell you. Your home’s exact flood risk. Zones A and V are considered high-risk areas. Zones B, C, and X are moderate-to-low-risk areas. Zone D hasn’t yet been mapped so it’s not clear what the risk is. Flood insurance can still be purchased. These zones help to determine the policy rate.
Flood Insurance Claims from Moderate-to–Low Zones make up more than 20%
That is 1 out of 5. Unbelievably, only 18% of homeowners have flood insurance. So those numbers do not include those homeowners who are not insured, a number no one knows.
Don’t count on Fedearl aid
Most government aid is in the form loans that you will need to repay. To be eligible for a loan your area must first be declared a federal disaster area. Less than half of all flooding events are declared as Federal disasters.
The average flood claim is $30,000
However, flood risk could be much greater if your home is in an area where water rises to the point that emergency workers have to make roof holes to rescue residents.
|Finished floor, wood, carpeting||$15,870|
|Doors, base trim, windows||$2,150|
|Kitchen and bath cabinets||$4,500|
|Repairs to furnace/AC||$270|
|Kitchenware and food||$330|
|Living room furniture||$2,700|
|Accent furniture and accessories||$450|
|1,000 sq. ft. home is $20,150|
Purchasing Flood Insurance
You can use the home inventory to determine how much coverage you will need. Then, estimate the cost of rebuilding or repairing your home. These two numbers together are your potential loss.
Federal flood insurance would cover up to $250,000. A NFIP can cover possessions up to $100,000. You can get one or both.
If your home would cost more than $250,000 to rebuild, you have to buy a private flood insurance policy called “excess coverage” to insure the value of your home above $250,000. Talk to your agent about the options.
Questions for Your Agent
FEMA’s online flood map locator can estimate your premium and help you find an agent who sells federal flood insurance in your community.
These are the questions you should ask agents when you speak to them:
- What is covered and what is not?
- Are there any additional fees or charges for agency work?
- Is my policy able to cover the actual replacement cost or the value of the item?
- My rates and zone can change. There are potential rate changes as the NFIP updates its maps.