Does my homeowners insurance cover flood damage?

August 22, 2012

Does homeowners insurance cover flood damage?

Photo Credit: Thomas Good (Creative Commons)

Unfortunately, the answer to this common question is almost always no. Standard homeowners and renters insurance policies do not cover flood damage.

If you want flood coverage, you’ll have to purchase a separate policy either from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or a private insurer.

What does flood insurance cover?

The NFIP provides replacement cost coverage for up to $250,000 for the structure and actual cash value coverage for up to $100,000 for personal possessions. Replacement cost coverage pays to restore your home to its original condition before the flood damage occurred. Actual cash value factors in depreciation, so the older your possessions, the less you’ll receive if they’re damaged.

Who should consider purchasing flood insurance?

Flood insurance is not just for people who live in designated flood zones. You may want to consider purchasing flood insurance if you live near a stream or pond, near a steep hill, or where your home could experience flooding from melting snow. Flood insurance is also available for renters.

What if I need excess flood coverage?

If you need flood coverage over and above the limits of a basic policy from NFIP, you can usually purchase excess flood coverage from a private insurer. Private flood insurance policies cover damage the same way as NFIP — replacement cost coverage for the structure and actual cash value coverage for possessions.

Don’t wait for flooding to purchase a policy. There’s a 30-day waiting period before the policy kicks in. To learn more, contact Burkhart Insurance Agency, with locations in both Kentucky and Ohio.¬†While the government provides the coverage, our agency issues the policy and, in the event of flood damage to your insured property, will also service your claim.

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