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Examining the Details of Home Flood Insurance

Floods are a common natural phenomenon that can result in extensive damage to buildings, vehicles, landscapes and material possessions. The cost of clean up alone can be devastating to the average homeowner, not to mention that of repairing the damaged areas and replacing any electronics, appliances and furnishings destroyed in the flood. With that costly potential disaster in mind, many homeowners are opting to add home flood insurance to their existing policies.

Home Flood InsuranceAre You Covered Right Now?
The first question to ask yourself is whether your home is currently covered against losses incurred by a flood. In most cases, with regard to home insurance policies across North America, damage that occurs as a result of flooding is not covered in standard policies. This means that in the event of a heavy and persistent rainstorm, or a thaw that causes an overflow of water from a nearby river, you may need to depend on the Federal government for financial assistance.

Federal disaster assistance is offered for a limited time only to those who meet the qualifications. It is typically a loan that must be paid back with interest; therefore, the longer it takes to repay the money, the more expensive this arrangement becomes. It is wiser to take control of your own protection and consider investing in home flood insurance – be kind to your wallet.

What Does Residential Flood Insurance Cover?
Home flood insurance generally covers three different categories of losses associated with flooding. They are as follows:

  • Structural Losses – including framing, roofing and foundation
  • Personal Property Losses – including a limited list of material possessions
  • Basement/Crawl Space Losses – including any mechanical equipment within those areas

Policies can be written to cover the cost of clean up, equipment rental, dumping charges, and any related expenses, such as hotel stays, that are incurred by a flood in your home.

Are There Limitations?
Just as your home insurance policy comes with limitations to the damages and deductibles associated with a claim, so does home flood insurance. Although it will include satisfying means of protection for you, it also ensures a good rate of risk for the insurance company.

On most policies, the structural and basement/crawl space losses are limited at $250,000, which means that you will not be compensated for flood damage costs that exceed that dollar amount. Personal property limitations may be significantly lower, typically limited to approximately $100,000. Talk to your insurance agent, ask questions, and read your policy thoroughly in order to well-understand the terms and limitations of your home flood insurance.

The Right Time is Now!
Spring and Fall are usually the seasons for floods, but water disasters can occur at any time during the year. In the winter months, it is least likely to happen, although a sharp thaw can cause flash flooding and overflowing of river banks.

When considering the value of your house and the possessions therein, it is wise to add home flood insurance to your policy. You will be well covered for only a few hundred dollars per year. In certain cases, the location of your home may result in a denial of coverage, but your agent will inform you if that is your case.

Many homeowners do not think of flood insurance until the threat is imminent, and stress levels are at an ultimate high. Because flood insurance requires a 30-day waiting period before becoming effective, it is smart to purchase it now and give yourself peace of mind.


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