Hurricane season is in full swing right now, and even though this season has been mild compared to the last few years, you should still be prepared for the worst. In fact, even if you do not live near the coast, you should still review your flood insurance policy. Floods occur in every state and one of the most important things you can to protect your assets is to buy flood insurance.
Is Flood Insurance Necessary?
Almost always, the answer is yes. If you live on top of a high hill, it might not be necessary, but otherwise you might want to consider it. Flood insurance is almost always separate from your normal home owner’s insurance, so the first thing to do is make sure you have a flood insurance policy. Don’t just assume your home owner’s policy will cover flood damage because often, homeowner’s insurance does not cover damage from floods and storms.
What Flood Insurance Covers
Flood insurance covers losses to your property caused by flood waters. This includes structural and mechanical damage, flood debris cleanup, and floor surfaces such as tile, wood flooring, and carpeting. Your homeowners policy probably does not offer these same protections.
You can also purchase additional coverage to cover the value of your other belongings such as furniture, clothing, electronics, decorations, appliances, and other belongings.
How To Buy Flood Insurance
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is the primary source for flood insurance in the the US. The best place to buy flood insurance is from a licensed private insurance company or independent property and casualty insurance agent in your state. To find a company that participates in the NFIP, check out FEMA’s list of participating insurance companies.
30 Day Waiting Period for Flood Insurance
Normally, there is a 30 day waiting period from the time you purchase flood insurance until the time the insurance becomes effective. In locations where flood insurance is required for your mortgage or property loan, the flood policy takes effect immediately. It is important to buy your policy before the storm seasons because of the 30 day waiting period.
How Much Does Flood Insurance Cost?
Flood insurance can be very inexpensive, with many policies starting at less than $10 a month. Of course, the cost varies by location. Still, it is a worthwhile expense to protect your assets.
Even though you cannot predict the weather, you can protect your belongings from the damage the weather may cause.
Here is some more information about being prepared for disasters.
For more information about floods and flood insurance, check out FEMA’s Fast Facts About Flood Insurance.