Spring is officially around the corner, and the changing seasons can often bring storms, some of them severe. Storms can turn your backyard into a mud pit and wreck your morning commute, but they can also cause severe damage to your home.
While many storm-related hazards, such as wind and hail damage, are covered by your homeowner’s insurance, flooding is not. Flood damage is only covered by flood insurance purchased through the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program.
So how do you know if you should purchase flood insurance to protect your home? With help from Bankrate.com, TSAHC has compiled information to help you decide.
- You don’t have to live in a floodplain to need flood insurance. Your lender will likely require you to get flood insurance if you live in a floodplain, but flooding can happen anywhere. In fact, one fourth of flood claims came from homeowners who don’t live in a high risk area. Flood insurance is fairly inexpensive if you don’t live in a floodplain, so the peace of mind you’ll get from knowing your home is covered may be worth the extra cost. Click here to view the policy rates for moderate and low-risk areas and find an insurance agent in your area.
- You can’t purchase flood insurance right before a big storm. Unlike other insurance policies, there is a 30 day waiting period before flood insurance takes effect. That means the best time to purchase flood insurance is now (before you need it).
- Floodplains can change. Even if your home wasn’t listed in a floodplain when you purchased it, flood plains can change over time depending on weather patterns, land development and other factors. Visit www.floodsmart.gov to view the most up-to-date floodplain maps in your neighborhood.
- Flood insurance may not cover everything. The federal government caps coverage at $250,000 for your home and $100,000 for your belongings. While the average flood claim for U.S. homeowners is only $30,000, if you are concerned about the coverage limit, you may be able to add a private policy to increase your coverage.
Ultimately the decision to purchase flood insurance can depend on a variety of factors, including your flood risk, budget and the value of your home and belongings. Review this article from House Logic for more in depth information about flood insurance.
On the House blog posts are meant to provide general information on various housing-related issues, research and programs. We are not liable for any errors or inaccuracies in the information provided by blog sources. Furthermore, this blog is not legal advice and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed professional attorney.