Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States, and they’re also one of the most expensive. In fact, the average flood claim costs $33,000, according to the National Flood Insurance Program. And yet, only about 12% of American homeowners have flood insurance.
If you live in a high-risk area—or even if you don’t—purchasing it is a smart way to protect your finances in the event of a natural disaster. Here’s everything you need to know about how to purchase flood insurance.
Why You Need Flood Insurance?
If you live in a low-lying area, near a body of water, or in an area that is prone to flooding, you may be required to purchase coverage. Even if you don’t live in an area that is at high risk of flooding, you may still want to consider purchasing a policy. Flooding is one of the most common natural disasters in the United States, and each year, thousands of people are left stranded without it when disaster strikes.
1. Floods Are More Common Than You Think
While most people think of floods as rare occurrences, they are quite common. In fact, floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States. Each year, there are an average of twenty floods per state. That means that there is a 1 in 4 chance that your home will be flooded at some point during your lifetime.
2. Flooding Can Happen Anywhere
Floods can happen anywhere in the United States. While some areas are more prone to flooding than others, all fifty states have experienced a federally declared flood event at some point in history. So even if you don’t live in an area that is typically associated with flooding, it’s still important to be prepared.
3. Flood Insurance Is Not Covered Under Homeowners Insurance
Most people assume that their homeowner’s insurance will cover them in the event of a flood, but this is not the case. Homeowners insurance policies typically exclude flooding from coverage. That means that if your home is damaged by a flood, you will have to pay out of pocket to repair the damage.
How Much Does Flood Insurance Cost?
The cost of your flood policy will depend on a few factors, including the value of your home and its contents, your deductible, and your location. However, the average premium is about $700 per year. Keep in mind that premiums will go up if you live in a high-risk area.
There are a few factors that go into determining the cost of it. The first is the amount of coverage you need. Most policies will cover up to $250,000 worth of damage to your home and belongings. If you need more coverage than that, you can purchase an “excess flood policy” to supplement your standard policy.
The second factor that affects the cost of it is your location. If you live in an area that’s prone to flooding, your premiums will be higher than someone who lives in an area with a minimal risk of flooding. Similarly, if your home is in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), you’ll pay more for your policy than someone whose home isn’t in an SFHA.
The third factor that goes into the cost of coverage is the age and condition of your home. Older homes are typically more expensive to insure than newer homes because they’re more likely to sustain damage in a flood. The same is true for homes that are in poor condition—if your home has any preexisting damage, it will cost more to insure than a home without any damage.
How to Purchase Flood Insurance?
There are two ways to purchase flood insurance: through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or from a private insurer. If you live in a high-risk area and your mortgage lender requires you to have coverage, you’ll need to purchase it through the NFIP as most private insurers won’t provide coverage in high-risk areas.
You can purchase NFIP coverage through an insurance agent or broker; coverage is typically available for purchase within 30 days after initial contact with an agent or broker. If you want coverage effective immediately—for example, if there’s been severe weather in your area—you can contact the NFIP directly at 1-800-638-6620.
How to file a claim with your flood insurance company?
If your home or business has been damaged by a flood, you may be able to file a claim with your flood company. Here’s what you need to know about the process.
The first step is to contact your agent or insurance company as soon as possible after the flooding has occurred. Your insurer will have an emergency hotline that you can call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Once you’ve made contact, the next step is to start gathering documentation of the damage. This can include things like photos or videos of the damage, receipts for repairs or replacements, and any other relevant information. Your insurance company will use this documentation to assess the damage and determine the amount of coverage you’re eligible for.
It’s important to note that most flood insurance policies have a waiting period of 30 days from the date of purchase before they go into effect. So, if you haven’t already purchased flood insurance and your home or business is at risk of flooding, now is the time to do so.
Flooding is one of the most common—and expensive—natural disasters in the United States. And yet, only about 12% of American homeowners have it. If you’re one of the 88% of homeowners who don’t have this type of coverage, now is the time to change that. Purchasing flood coverage is a smart way to protect your finances should a natural disaster damage your home.
It’s also relatively affordable; the average premium is just $700 per year. You can purchase flood coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program or from a private insurer; just make sure you do it within 30 days of initial contact with an agent or broker to get coverage that’s effective immediately.
If you want to discuss options for flood insurance, please call us at 561-732-9305 our quoting hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM. In addition, you can request a quote online. Please remember, We Handle All the Work, While You Save!
Rob Macoviak is the President of Oyer, Macoviak and Associates. Oyer, Macoviak and Associates is the oldest independent insurance agency in Boynton Beach and has been in business since 1953.