Flood Damage Insurance
Flood damage insurance is a hot topic of the television news in the spring and fall seasons of the year. When melting snows meet the frozen tundra of the Midwest and the hurricanes race across the Gulf coast, flooding creates the pictures that break viewers' hearts. The poor become destitute and the rest build over again. It is the yearly dance of the waters into homes and businesses that makes the rest of the country wonder why people don't pack up and leave. But that is the very answer; it's home. So the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) has divided the country into zones that are at the highest and lowest risk of the dance each year. And in those high risk areas, the conversation about flood damage insurance always comes up in conversations at the mall or at church. And in Utah or Pennsylvania, it's more likely that Little League and the price of gas are hotter topics.
In the highest risk areas of the country which include the coastal states and other inland designated hot spots, the lenders of mortgages for homes have one large demand, besides paying on time. It is the requirement for a high water indemnity policy per home owner. The homeowners do not have a choice in the matter for if they want a mortgage, they will have the coverage, and they will maintain that coverage or lose the house. In these hotbeds that seemingly love to host the water dance every few years, and for some every year, the premiums are not inexpensive. For a two hundred thousand dollar house and fifty thousand of coverage inside, the price is over five thousand dollars a year. That house in Utah or Pennsylvania would be about four hundred dollars a year for flood damage insurance.
FEMA is quick to point out that there are no non-overflow zones in the country. Given the fact that melting snow and overrun creeks can stretch for miles over frozen land that is not hard to believe. And then when one adds in the very real possibility of a storm drain backing up and wiping out an entire block in a seemingly low risk of water overflow plain and one begins to understand FEMA's claim. "Once in a hundred years" is what might be muttered from people who never saw the dance coming, and who obviously had no flood damage insurance. Jesus said His second coming would also come like a thief in the night and few will be prepared. Speaking about Jesus' words in the final book of the Bible the writer quotes Him saying, "He which testifieth these things saith, 'Surely I come quickly.' Amen. Even so come, Lord Jesus." (Revelation 22:20)
A person that hasn't been through a deluge cannot imagine how much damage even a couple of inches can bring. FEMA estimates that in a 900 square foot ranch style home, the two inches of water would bring seventy eight hundred dollars of damage. That would include new baseboards, carpeting, cleanup materials and some furniture damage. A ten inch flood in the same house, destroying drywall, furniture, paint, new appliances and some major damage to furniture would cost in excess of eighteen thousand dollars. And while the costs will vary, the reality doesn't. Unwanted water can wreck years of hard work and sacrifice. Water deluge damage can be a very timely investment, but how we wish we could figure out the weather a year ahead of time and just buy the flood damage insurance at the last moment!
No, homeowner's insurance does not cover overflow damage. It's often good for one dog bite incident in many cases, and for Auntie falling down the stairs, but flood damage insurance is a separate deal. Federal disaster relief funds are often thought by some owners to be an automatic coverage, but only if the President deems the flood waters to be a national disaster. The bad news is two-fold on this one. First, only ten percent of floods are deemed to be disasters and the money homeowners get from flood assistance is a loan that has to be paid back with interest. Is there any acreage for sale on Mt. McKinley?
Flood insurance isn't only water damage reparation, but it is also mud slide indemnity. And who hasn't seen a house sitting precariously on the side of a hill, and topple into the ravine because of erosion? The good news is that the owners of that house, with flood damage insurance, will one day have another house paid by the insurer. Flash flood, tidal surge, high waves are all part of the litany of causes of damage to be covered under this policy. But all should check with their agent before applying this information carte blanche to their own.
According to FEMA, only those communities, at the moment over 20,000 in number that belong to the National Flood Insurance Program can get flood insurance. If this particular lends on flood damage insurance has made you a little nervous about your own vulnerability and your community is not one of the 20,000, talk to an insurance agent about what coverage might be available. Hey look, a broken water main at First and Elm streets could possibly find an old Victorian bed and breakfast in harm's way in about, oh, say eight hours. And then the dance begins. Yeah, that's covered in the policy too.
Flood Insurance CoverageFlood insurance coverage is a must for anyone who lives in a flood zone or where there is a potential for flood due to possible weather conditions. Water damage can happen to anyone who has water standing in their home through a broken hot water heater or a water leak. A regular homeowner's policy does not usually include flood insurance coverage. Many sites online offer coverage and can provide the interested party with a free quote. Some sites offer a comparison by company of rates for coverage. Considerations include the value of the policy, if contents are covered, and the deductible amount that the policyholder will be responsible for if a claim is filed. A policyholder should be sure and ask if the policy is set up according to replacement cost value or actual cash value.
Replacement cost value (RCV) flood insurance coverage is what it takes to replace damaged property. There are normally conditions that must be met to have RCV on the policy. The residence should be the policyholder's principal residence. The building must be a single-family home. The amount that is covered should be a certain percentage of what it would cost to replace the building. Actual cash value (ACV) is the value at the time of the loss taking into consideration any depreciation that has occurred and is usually considered on personal property.
Living in a flood zone ups a person's chances of acquiring damage caused by rising water. However, water damage even in small amounts can do a great deal of damage in a home caused by broken water pipes. This would include replacing flooring, wallboard, and baseboards even if the water standing reaches only one to two inches. Flood insurance coverage can help a homeowner recover loses and allow him or her to be able to make repairs. If the water touches the furniture then chances are personal property will need to be replaced as well. A policyholder should look over the policy and make sure personal property is covered. In many instances personal property insurance may need to be purchased to cover items such as furniture and furnishings.
Not living in a flood zone does not mean that there are no chances of a flood occurring. When it rains enough in a short period of time any home can be in danger of flooding. So, with this in mind, every homeowner should have some kind of flood insurance coverage. Some sources claim that flooding occurs nationwide every year and results in excess of $2 billion in property damage. No home is entirely safe because freak weather conditions now days are not unheard of. With weather patterns changing and climates changing only God knows what can happen from one day to the next. "And He said unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then He arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm" (Matthew 8:26). Most people realize that life is uncertain and their intentions are to prepare for the unknown. So, flood zone or not, talking to an insurance representative can help when trying to decide how much coverage is enough.
Taking into consideration that flooding can be caused by inside problems instead of weather conditions are a good reason to consider purchasing flood insurance coverage. Water leaks, broken hot water heaters, bath tubs running over, washing machine leaks, the toilet overflowing, or roof leaks can all cause water damage in the home. A homeowner's insurance policy may cover some of these types of occurrences but the homeowner should find out exactly what is covered and what is not, just in case additional coverage is needed. Going online and doing some research on various insurance sites can help to answer some questions about whether or not to buy an additional policy.
Some policies are inexpensive and worth considering when shopping for flood insurance coverage. In these times most people are maxed out with expenses when taking care of a home. Extra policies can seem unnecessary especially when flooding is not likely to happen. It is better to get an additional low cost policy than not because sometimes a homeowner's policy may not be enough. One of the best ways to find out about inexpensive options is to make a call to the insurance company that wrote the policy for the home and find out about other options that are low cost to cover damages from excess water or flooding.
Purchasing additional coverage from the company who wrote your homeowner's policy will probably result in a discount. Flood insurance coverage is considered by some as being just too expensive to buy if it is not necessary. And that is a good point but how can a person know beyond a shadow of a doubt that flooding is never going to happen? No one can know this for sure. Many companies online suggest not only buying coverage for flooding but to consider purchasing a policy for fire, liability, personal property, and additional policies for very expensive items. Of course insurance companies want their customers to purchase more so they can make more money and that should be taken into consideration. One good thing to do is just find out what the costs would be and weigh the cost against the possibility of having to pay for damages without insurance and see if the chance is worth taking.