With the rainy season right in front of us, now may be the best time to consider purchasing flood insurance. I hear a lot of people say, "When we bought our house, the lender said we weren't in a flood zone so we didn't need to buy flood insurance on top of our homeowner's insurance. I figured if the bank isn't worried about it, then I shouldn't be either." Apparently this might not be the best idea.
Virtually Every Home Is In A Flood Zone
Unless you live on the top of a mountain, just about any area is susceptible to flooding. Heavy rains can make instant rivers where there wasn't even a trickle before. All it takes is for a big storm to come after the ground is already saturated. Or you could simply ask some of the people who experienced Hurricane Katrina or Harvey. Dams and levees fail. Just a few inches of water can cost tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage. In fact, 25% of flood claims come from low and moderate risk areas (areas not required to have insurance by lenders).
Where Do I Buy Flood Insurance?
Flood damage is not covered under homeowner insurance policies. You must buy it separately through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is run and backed by the US government. However, nearly everyone is eligible to buy flood insurance regardless of risk level (although the premiums will vary). You can contact us at Bruening Insurance to get a quote.
How Much Will It Cost?
Chances are if your lender didn't make you buy it for your mortgage, then your premiums won't be too bad. For $250,000 coverage on the building and $100,000 on contents, the cost is typically $450. With a few exceptions, there is a 30-day wait before the policy takes effect, so don't be thinking you can just buy it at the last minute.
So, it would seem that almost all homeowners should at least consider getting flood insurance even they are not required to. It can't hurt to get a quote and research your flood exposure.