Water, Water Everywhere...
Most homeowners insurance policies do not provide flood insurance, but it's usually available as a separate policy. So, how do you know if you need flood insurance and how can you protect your home from flood damage? Follow these tips to help keep your home safe from floods and make sure you have the coverage you need.
Get your hands on a flood map or elevation map of your neighborhood. A local land surveyor can help you with this, or you could contact FEMA. This is particularly important when purchasing a home or property in coastal areas. If you are in the 100-year flood plain then you may be at greater risk than normal for flood-related damage.
Remember that even if you don't live near the coast, there may still be a great risk of flooding. It is important to note that desert areas and very dry land are not able to absorb water as quickly as the coastal areas, resulting in more serious flash floods.
Obtain flood insurance in advance. It typically takes 30 days for flood insurance to go into effect, so trying to save a few dollars by leaving it for the last minute can cost you big time.
Avoid the 'Yuck Factor.' Some floods can cause damage indirectly — for example, if flood waters deluge the sewer system it could overflow and back-up into the house (Hope you weren't eating). To help prevent this, make sure you have a back flow valve installed in the sewage system. Also, protection against sewer water backing up into the home can be added onto your existing policy and is different than flood insurance. Be sure you understand what coverages you do and don't have, as it can make a big difference in a messy situation.
Even homes that are located in non-flood zones can be damaged by a flood. In fact, 30% of flood damage occurs in areas that are not considered high risk. It is important to know what a flood is and understand the mitigating factors.
Flood coverage can be a tricky subject — if you're looking for some additional information or not sure about something you've read above just give one of our flood insurance counselors a call at 1-800-841-2964, they'll be happy to help.
The above-listed tips are for informational use only. Refer to your insurance policy contract for specific information regarding your coverages and for actual terms, conditions and exclusions. The above statements are general in nature and may or may not reflect the actual terms of your insurance policy.