Live in a Flood Zone? You Should Consider Flood Insurance

overhead drone shot of small village in a flood zoneOver 40 million Americans live in flood zones.

What many people don’t realize is that flood damage is typically excluded from standard renters and homeowner’s insurance policies. The same source tells us that the average flood claim amounts to over $40,000.

You might be reluctant to purchase yet another type of insurance for your home, but flood insurance could save you significantly in the long run, especially if you live in a flood zone.

Keep reading to learn more about flood insurance and why to consider it.

What is a Flood Zone?

A flood zone is an area on a map deemed to have a flood risk. Flooding doesn’t just happen along the coast. It can happen anywhere.

Whether it’s because of a natural disaster or an overflowing nearby water source, there are flood zones all over the United States. Whether or not you’re in a flood zone dictates if it’s mandatory for you to purchase flood insurance.

There are different zones that represent various levels of flood danger. For example, Zone A represents an area in which there’s a 1% chance of flooding during any year and a 26% chance of flooding during a 30-year mortgage.

Flood zone risks depend on the zone level. Some zones pose low-to-moderate level risks, whereas others are high-risk flood zones.

You can get a flood zone map for your area through FEMA or your local government.

What Does Flood Insurance Cover?

Living in a flood zone doesn’t have to be daunting, especially if you have flood insurance.

Just make sure that you’ve got enough coverage. Let’s look at what flood insurance does¬†and doesn’t cover.

Appliances

Typically, most appliances are covered under flood insurance. Things like dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, fridges, and stoves are usually covered. Freezers and portable air conditioners are, too.

Be sure to check with your agent to make sure your appliances have coverage in the event of a flood.

Building Essentials

Plumbing and electrical systems, central AC units, furnaces, water heaters, sump pumps, and heat pumps should all be covered under your flood insurance. Solar energy equipment, fuel tanks, and water tanks are all usually covered too.

Paneling and Walls

Your policy should pay for any cabinets that were damaged in a flood.

However, if only some were damaged, they’ll probably only cover those. If you have to purchase all new cabinets to match, you’ll likely have to pay for the portion that wasn’t damaged.

Foundation walls, staircases, and anchorage systems are covered unless flooded because of earth movement.

Detached Garage and Carpeting

When it comes to a detached garage, you’re entitled to use up to 10% of your total building coverage.

That amount, however, gets subtracted from the total amount of building coverage available in your insurance plan.

Your policy should cover permanently installed carpets, curtains, and window blinds, as well.

Other Coverage

Personal property like clothing, furniture, and electronic equipment NOT stored in your basement is typically covered under flood insurance. When it comes to valuables like artwork and furs, most plans cover around $2,500.

Federal flood insurance covers up to $250,000 per building and up to $100,000 per building contents. However, you can also buy policies that have lower limits.

What Does Flood Insurance Not Cover?

Flood insurance has both exclusions and eligibility requirements, which is why it’s important to familiarize yourself with your plan.

Here are some examples of types of damage that aren’t usually covered by flood insurance:

  • Damage caused by mildew, mold, or moisture not attributed to the flood
  • Living expenses while the building can’t be occupied or is undergoing repairs
  • Damage due to earth movement, even if that movement causes flooding
  • Financial losses because of business interruption from a flood
  • Precious metals, money, and valuable papers
  • Self-propelled vehicles
  • Property outside of the insured building (such as decks, trees, and pools)

If your address is in a flood zone, it’s likely that you must purchase flood insurance. Don’t wait to discuss your options with your Ocean City, NJ agent so that you can have peace of mind knowing you and your home are protected.

Risks to Consider

Flooding can occur because of many things, both manmade and natural. A lot of floods are caused by melting snow or heavy rain when the excess water can’t be absorbed into the ground.

Sometimes that same rain or snow causes nearby lakes, streams, and rivers to flood, too. It doesn’t always have to be a specific amount of rain or snow, either, as many factors come into play¬†concerning flooding.

Did you know that of the over 80,000 dams in the United States, many of them are over 50 years old?

You could be living in a non-flood zone, but if you live downstream from a dam, your home could be at risk. Plus, things like new developments and construction can change the natural movement of water and cause flooding as well.

You Don’t Have to Live in a Flood Zone to Consider Flood Insurance

Depending on where you live, if you’re in a flood zone, it’s probably the law that you must purchase flood insurance. However, don’t¬†only purchase a plan¬†because you live in a flood zone.

Even outside of flood zones, plenty of Americans are susceptible to flooding in their homes.

Whether your neighbor’s above-ground pool collapses or your local dam bursts, there are many potential causes of floods that most homeowners don’t even think of.

If you aren’t sure whether you should purchase flood insurance, talk to your Ocean City, NJ agent about the likelihood of flooding in your area.

If you have questions or want to get started better protecting your home and its contents,¬†contact us¬†for peace of mind knowing what’s important to you is covered.