Did you know that just one inch of water can cause $25,000 in damage, according to FEMA? Did you know that every single house in the entire country is in a FEMA flood zone? It’s just that some flood zones are worse than others. You can check which flood zone your home is in by visiting FEMA.gov.
Do I need Flood Insurance?
No matter where you live in Washington State, flood insurance must be purchased as a separate, stand-alone policy because flood damage is typically not covered by homeowners insurance or commercial insurance. In fact, if you live in certain flood zones, your mortgage company may require that you purchase a flood insurance policy.
Please also keep in mind that although federal flood assistance is available if there is a presidential disaster declaration, most floods don’t result in a declaration. In addition, flood disaster assistance will not be able to restore your property and its contents to their pre-disaster conditions in the same way flood insurance is able to.
Flood Insurance Facts You Should Consider
Here are some interesting things about flood insurance you should know, according to FEMA and the Insurance Information Institute (III):
Homeowners in low-moderate risk areas can purchase building and contents coverage for as little as $325 per year.
Federal disaster assistance typically comes in the form of a loan that must be repaid with interest.
The average disaster assistance grant is about $5,000 per household while the average flood claim in 2021 was $42,580.
20% of all flood insurance claims are filed by property owners in low to moderate risk areas.
Flood insurance policies can reimburse you for the work that you and other family members did to sandbag your homes, move furniture and remove debris.
As of July 2020, 69% of policies covered single family homes, 21% covered condominiums and other residential properties, and 4% covered 2-4 -family units. Business and other non-residential policies accounted for the remainder.
What does Flood Insurance cover?
Simply put, flood insurance is designed to reimburse you for losses directly caused by flooding. Flood insurance itself actually consists of two different coverages available through the NFIP: Building Coverage and Contents Coverage (personal property).
Building coverage protects the physical structure of your home or commercial property, including electrical and plumbing systems, refrigerators, central air conditioners, solar energy equipment, window blinds and more.
Contents coverage protects the belongings inside of the property including items such as clothing, furniture, microwaves and TV’s, at their value at the time of loss.
Keep in mind that there are coverage limits of $250,000 per building and $100,000 for contents on residential buildings. For non-residential buildings, there is a $500,000 limit for building coverage and contents coverage. If you are a small business owner in need of additional coverage, surplus line coverage is what you need.
What does Flood Insurance NOT cover?
When it comes to flood insurance, there are some limitations that a typical policy will not cover which include:
Damage caused by moisture, mildew or mold that could have been avoided by the property owner
Damage caused by earth movement as a result of a flood
Currency, precious metals and valuable papers like stock certificates, wills, and trusts
Property outside of a building like trees, fences, swimming pools, and hot tubs
Financial losses caused by business interruption
Temporary housing expenses while the building is being repaired or is unable to be occupied
When deciding whether or not flood insurance is worth it, take a look at the facts and talk to a professional. We’re here to guide you and will answer any questions you might have.