FLOOD INSURANCE: DO YOU REALLY NEED IT?

Published: January 24, 2018

Updated: May 15, 2018

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Do you need flood insurance? This is a decision you will take based on where you reside, whether you are prone to flooding and whether insurance premium is more expensive than the cost of your property.

Understand that flood damage usually linger after the actual flood has receded. This may come in the form of mold growth, permanently damaged furniture and compromised structural support.

Understand also that an insurance company may consider the cause of destruction to be as a result of flooding if your home was destroyed by an ocean surge, thus leaving you homeless and uninsured. Increasing temperatures may bring about a rise in ocean levels and the emergence of erratic weather patterns. Many climatologists opine that this development may result in storms of higher intensities all over the world for many years to come.

You alone can decide whether to buy flood insurance. If you reside in a flood prone environment, you might want to ask for a quote by phone or online. Getting an insurance quote is free of charge, so you do not lose anything by requesting for one. You might be pleasantly amazed by the deals you will find.

The insurance policy you will get may cover storm damage but fail to indicate the type of storm damage, hence, you may be able to repair such damage from both wind and water in a single insurance payment. This however, is generally not the case as insurance companies will try to pay you as little as possible. Most times, you will not be able to fix damages related to wind because it occurred in the same place and at the same time as flood damage.

If flooding affects your electric power supply, you might be able to get compensation for damage to appliance and spoiled food. This however applies to electric damage related to hurricane. If river or heavy rains overflow causes an erratic behavior in electricity, you may not receive any compensation for it.

Apartment renters and condo owners may have the ability to fix common areas if the condo co-op or landlord has a flood insurance cover for the building. However, except each individual unit has a flood insurance cover, damage resulting from water will not be covered for your own living space.

If flooding makes your house uninhabitable, your policy may cover for extra living expenses. Such expenses include those apart from finding temporary shelter and weathering displacement. Typically 20% of your insurance policy is the amount provided to cover additional living expenses.

What does flood insurance cover?

According to the National Flood Insurance Program, a flood is defined as a partial or total inundation of normal dry land due to overflow of inland waters, speedy accumulation of surface waters from any source or mud flows. Flood insurance typically covers:

  • Any structural damage as a result of flooding.
  • Debris removal
  • Carpet damage and repairs
  • Damage due to or resulting from plumbing and electrical systems after a flood
  • All damages to detached garages
  • Unavoidable mildew or mold damage due to flooding
  • Wood paneling cabinetry, and furniture damage
  • Damage to appliances, heating and cooling equipment
  • Damage to personal items such as jewelry and electronics.