If you don’t live near an ocean or a river, you may not think flood insurance is necessary. But, you may want to re-think: just one inch of standing water can cost over $27,000 in repairs and restoration, but only 12 percent of Americans have flood insurance. If you believe one of these common myths, you may be reluctant to purchase coverage for your home – but it may be time to reconsider.
Myth 1. My Homeowners Insurance Will Cover Me
If you have homeowners insurance, you may believe you are covered in the event of a flood. But, did you know that floods are likely not covered by your homeowners insurance policy? In order to have adequate coverage, consider buying a separate flood insurance policy.
Myth 2. I Don’t Live in a Flood Zone, So I’m Safe from Flooding
If you don’t live near a river or ocean, you may think you’re safe from flooding. However, flooding can happen anywhere, and be caused by things like snow melt, torrential rains, or a number of other factors. And when water makes its way into your home, it only takes a couple of inches of water to do significant damage.
Myth 3. I’ll Be Covered by Federal Flood Assistance
Before you will receive state or federal flood assistance, your area will need to be declared a disaster area by the governor or the president. Even with a natural disaster declaration, assistance isn’t guaranteed. It may not be safe to rely on state or federal assistance – the safer option is to purchase coverage before flooding occurs, as most policies need to be purchased at least 30 days before a flooding event.
Myth 4. Flood Insurance Won’t Cover My Belongings
While not everything may be covered by flood insurance, flood insurance typically covers the structural elements and essential equipment. So, sump pumps, HVAC, appliances, water heaters, electrical elements (like a circuit breaker), and other foundational elements are generally covered with a flood insurance policy. If your basement is a finished living space, you can also purchase additional coverage to cover the contents for things like furniture, washers and dryers, artwork, and things you have stored. (Individual coverage varies. Review your policy for specifics.)
Myth 5. My Auto Insurance Will Cover Vehicle Flooding
Did you drive through rising water and think the damages would be covered by your auto insurance? They might be, if you have comprehensive coverage. Your agent will be able to check your coverage details and let you know for sure. But, it’s always better to be on the safe side and avoid the dangers of rising water on the roadway. If you think your road may be flooded, it’s best to choose another route and remain safe.
Flooding can be both dangerous and expensive to clean up. If your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program and your home is eligible, consider buying flood insurance to supplement your homeowners insurance. Your Farm Bureau agent can help you find the resources you need to protect your home and your family.