Flood Insurance: How It Differs from Regular Property Insurance

flooding

As the world’s eyes continue to be on the clean-up efforts in Texas, we receive a daily reminder of what a devastating impact Mother Nature can have on our lives and our homes. While we may be safe from the threat of a hurricane or tropical storm here in Colorado, we are not immune from the ever-present threat of flooding. What would happen if inclement weather or a natural disaster caused your house to flood? Would you be covered by your property insurance or would some sort of extra insurance be required? Because the distinction between standard property insurance and flood insurance can be so confusing, we’ve written up a quick breakdown of what flood insurance is and how it’s different from your homeowner’s policy.

What Is Flood Insurance?

As recently as the 1950s, regular homeowner’s insurance actually covered the costs associated with flooding. Unfortunately, payouts from flooding rose quickly and by the 1960s insurance companies had suffered so many losses that they stopped offering coverage for floods altogether. Because this left homeowners in a lurch, Americans appealed to the government for relief. From here, the National Flood Insurance Program was established. With this program, homeowners can buy a $250,000 policy for their homes and opt for an additional $100,000 policy for their personal goods and belongings. The average cost of an annual flood insurance policy in the U.S. is $700, but it could be higher. The amount you’ll end up paying for your policy depends on the flood risk for your region. Even so, if there’s any chance that your home could sustain damages from natural flooding, it’s worth the investment. Each year, billions of dollars in claims are paid out by the NFIP.

Water Damage and Property Insurance

Even when they know what flood insurance is, many homeowners still tend to have questions when it comes to understanding the difference between flood insurance and traditional property or homeowner’s insurance. After all, homeowner’s insurance generally covers water damage, so what’s the difference between this and flood damages? What’s the difference between rainwater and flood water? The primary distinction is when the water hits the ground. If a fallen tree branch damages your roof and rainwater leaks in and damages your home, for instance, it will be covered by your homeowner’s policy. If on the other hand, a nearby river overflows from heavy rains and your basement becomes flooded, you will need to have flood insurance to cover the damages.

Important Considerations

As a homeowner, it’s your responsibility to understand what your homeowner’s policy does and does not cover and to make determinations about whether or not you are in need of additional flood insurance. It’s important to remember that higher volumes of rainfall are accumulating even in the most low-risk areas, so the chances of flooding and water damage are greater than average. You should also avoid waiting until the local weather forecaster predicts a big storm to invest in flood insurance; most policies have a 30-day waiting period before they kick in.

What To Do After Flooding

Whether you’ve sustained damages that are covered by property insurance or have succumbed to serious flooding, you’re going to need professional help to restore your home to its former glory. The water restoration experts at Abbotts Fire & Flood can assess the level of damage done and provide you with a free estimate to present to your insurance agency. Remember that you have the right to work with any contractor that you choose – not just the company that your insurance company wants you to work with.  After carefully explaining everything to you, we are qualified to make any necessary repairs, including mold abatement as needed. Give us a call to learn more and get started on the process of fixing up your flood-damaged home today.