Do I Need to Purchase Flood Insurance?
Spring is near and that brings plenty to be excited about – warmer temperatures, blooming flowers, and enjoying outdoor activities again. Unfortunately, that is not all that spring brings. Increased rain and the snow thawing can create the perfect storm for flooding. Some areas are certainly more prone to flooding; the reality is it can happen anywhere. Many homeowners are confused on whether or not they need to purchase flood insurance. Let’s clear up the confusion and make sure you are prepared.
Many people think that flood insurance is included with their homeowner’s policy, this is not the case. A standard homeowner’s insurance policy typically doesn’t cover flood damage. If you want flood coverage, you will need to purchase a separate policy. If you live in a high-risk flood area, you must buy federal flood insurance in order to get a mortgage. If you live outside a high-risk zone, or if you no longer have a mortgage, flood insurance is optional.
How do you know the risk level of your property? FEMA, a federal government agency, updates their flood maps yearly through both in-house studies as well as community-initiated map revisions—giving each community a designated “risk” category. These maps help mortgage companies decide whether or not they’ll require flood insurance for a loan, and they tell your insurance agent what to charge you for flood insurance.
The federal flood insurance covers the physical structure of the house, up to $250,000 and up to $100,000 for personal possessions. A flood insurance policy also reimburses you for the work that you and other family members did to sandbag your homes, move furniture and remove debris.
While you may not be able to remove the risk of flooding, you can take measures to considerably reduce your risk. Talk with the experts at Lenz-Balder to see if flood insurance is the right fit for you, understanding your options, and planning ahead, you will be armed with information to make the best choices for both your home and your family.