Is It Good to Get Flood Insurance?
Every time there are devastating rains, consumers start wondering about the merits of flood insurance. Neither homeowner?s nor renter?s insurance policies cover losses from flooding. However, in 1968, Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program.
The goal was to minimize the cost of taxpayer funded disaster relief for flood victims. The program is managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which today offers federally backed flood insurance to homeowners, renters, and business owners in nearly 20,000 communities nationwide.
If you live in a designated flood zone, you’re required to purchase flood insurance. Otherwise, buying it is optional.
Should you get it for the added peace of mind it can bring? It depends. Before you decide, you should know a few things.
Flood insurance does not cover contents. If you are thinking about getting flood insurance because you are worried about possible water damage to your newly refinished basement recreation room, you may not be getting the coverage you expect.
If your finished basement floods, for example, flood insurance will pay to correct the structural damage to the walls and woodwork. But it will not reimburse you for the furniture, carpets, and other items you may have to throw away.
In limited circumstances, your standard homeowner’s policy may cover flood damage. If your home was damaged by water after a roof collapsed or if a tree fell, smashing a window and allowing rain to pour in, then you have a covered loss even if you don’t have flood insurance.
To play it safe, anytime you have a loss, err on the side of caution.
? Document your loss by taking pictures of everything damaged or destroyed.
? Keep everything until you have a chance to talk to your insurance agent or claims adjuster.
? Find receipts for as many damaged items as you can.