Flood losses are not covered by your homeowners insurance policy.
Floodwaters have the power to damage not only your home and sense of security, but also your financial future. How can you protect your most important investment in case of flooding?
Option 1: Hope that you'll receive Federal disaster relief if a flood hits.
Many people wrongly believe that the U.S. government will take care of all their financial needs if they suffer damage due to flooding. The truth is that Federal disaster assistance is only available if the President formally declares a disaster. Even if you do get disaster assistance, it's often a loan you have to repay, with interest, in addition to your mortgage loan that you still owe on the damaged property.
Most importantly, you must consider the fact that if your home is flooded and disaster assistance isn't offered, you'll have to shoulder the massive damage costs alone. The bottom line is that if you're looking for secure protection from financial loss due to flood damage, Federal disaster assistance is not the answer.
Option 2: Buy flood insurance and stay protected no matter what.
When disaster strikes, flood insurance policyholder claims are paid even if a disaster is not Federally declared. Flood insurance means you'll be reimbursed for all your covered losses. And unlike Federal aid, it never has to be repaid.
In general, a policy does not take effect until 30 days after you purchase flood insurance. So, if the weather forecast announces a flood alert for your area and you go to purchase coverage, it's already too late. You will not be insured if you buy a policy a few days before a flood.
What's the likelihood of suffering a flood loss?
The chances of your business, home, or personal property being damaged by a flood depends primarily upon where you live. They also depend on other factors such as:
· How much of a flood warning you receive
· The level of flood precautions you take (such as moving personal property from lower levels to higher levels)
· The precautions taken by your community (such as the use of flood controls in construction standards or sandbagging threatened areas). Since floods are related to weather conditions and tend to affect very wide areas, your chances of a flood loss may be higher than a loss from fires or windstorms. Many people have the obsolete belief that flood insurance is only needed if you live in a flood prone area
What is a flood zone?
If you have ever heard the term “flood zone,” you may think that it refers to locations that are particularly vulnerable to flooding. Wherever you live in the USA, you live in a flood zone. While your area may have a lower chance of flooding than a coastal area or a location situated near a body of water, your area could still experience flooding. A very dry part of the country can be susceptible to flash floods; hilly locations may be harmed by drainage; snowy locations may suffer from heavy snow thaw; other areas may suffer deluges or flooding due to a heavy rain season which has soaked the surrounding soil. So, if you've insured yourself against fire, wind, and other causes of loss, it certainly makes sense to also protect yourself from the potential of a flood loss.
Why worry when disaster coverage is available?
You may believe that even if you suffer from a flood, your loss may be taken care of when the government declares your location to be a disaster area. However, you're still taking a couple of large risks. First, your flooded locale may not be deemed a disaster area. Second, being designated as a disaster area is not a bargain. Disaster area status only gives citizens access to government disaster loans. If you qualify for assistance, you have replaced insurance protection with an obligation to pay off a large, long-term loan. Is it worthwhile to gamble on an opportunity to pick up more debt? You'll find flood insurance to be a cheaper and much more valuable alternative.
Don't be “all wet”
You don't have to leave yourself unprotected. We can help you with detailed information on the National Flood Insurance Program. You can also ask for help in getting the coverage you need to “keep dry” and secure in the face of a flood.