While the warmer weather is refreshing and thawing after the long winter, it also brings the melting snow and spring rains. The accumulation of water can lead to flooding, even in areas that have never experienced it in the past. People often leave flood insurance to the wayside due to common misconceptions. A flood is defined by the Nation Flood Insurance Program as “a general and temporary condition where two or more acres of normally dry land or two or more properties are inundated by water or mudflow.”
Myth #1: My homeowners policy already covers flood damage!
Fact: A standard homeowners insurance policy does NOT cover flood damage. Your homeowners policy may be able to help with some types of water damage, but to have protection against a flood, a separate policy is required. Unfortunately, many victims of Hurricane Katrina found this out the hard way. There were many lawsuits filed against insurance carriers and new regulations were formed to help consumers.
Myth #2: I don’t live in a high-risk flood zone!
Fact: Everyone lives in a flood zone. While you may think you live in a low- to moderate-risk zone, more than 40% of all flood claims came from these areas. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) states, “you are five times more likely to experience a flood than a fire in your home over the next 30 years.”
Myth #3: Minor flooding won’t cause a lot of damage!
Fact: Even during a minor flooding event, the damage inflicted to a home and its contents can be significant. According to FEMA, just one inch of floodwater can cause more than $25,000 of damage to your home. Don’t leave this cost to chance.
Myth #4: If my home floods, the government would help out!
Fact: There are federal disaster funds available to flood victims. The only way federal disaster relief funds can be offered is if the Governor of a state requests the President to declare a disaster. Less than 50% of all flooding events in the United States are declared federal disasters. The Small Business Administration (SBA) can issue a low-interest loan that you will need to pay back or FEMA can give a disaster grant that could reach up to $33,000, but usually averages around $5,000 per household. A flood insurance policy provides substantially more coverage than a federal grant and policyholders are under no contract to return the money received from a claim.
Myth #5: Flood insurance is only available for homeowners!
Fact: The great thing about flood insurance is that it is not limited to just homeowners, but it’s also accessible to renters, commercial property owners, and their tenants. A flood policy is available for anyone who wants to protect their property or personal belongings.
To learn more about how a flood can impact you in an instant, visit floodsmart.gov. If you have any questions about flood insurance and how you might be affected, please give our office a call or fill out this form for an assessment. We would love to help you make the best decision!