Do I Need Flood Insurance?
Some mortgages require homeowners to have flood insurance coverage, which is not typically included in a regular homeowner policy. However, not all mortgages require this coverage, leaving many new homeowners wondering if they really need the coverage, and how to justify the extra expense.
What is Flood Insurance?
Very simply put, flood insurance covers a dwelling (in this case your house) for losses caused by water damage as it specifically relates to flooding. But sometimes the flood insurance specifics become more complicated, which is why having a trusted source and licensed agent is key.
For example, if a sewer backs up, causing damage but the backup was not caused by rising floodwaters, flood insurance may not cover it. If the roof comes off of your house and water comes in from the rain, that may not technically be flooding. We can easily see how this can be confusing and frustrating to understand, especially if you are a first-time homeowner or have moved to a new area.
Is it Really Required?
Flood insurance is not always required, which can further complicate things. Homeowners insurance does not cover flooding, and in many places around the country it is optional. For those who purchase a home in a low-risk flood area, it may not even be a topic of discussion. But for those in a high-risk flood area, it becomes a topic of interest.
Loans that are federal regulated or insured, like FHA and VA mortgages where the property is in a high-risk flood zone require homeowners insurance. While this may seem to be an added and unnecessary cost, it’s an important and worthwhile one.
Facts About Flood Risk
If you aren’t familiar with flood zones and didn’t grow up in an area where they are common, this may still be confusing to you. Here are some facts about flooding that may help you understand why flood insurance is so important.
- Your home can flood, even if it is not in a high-risk flood zone. In fact, according to FEMA, more than 20% of flood claims come from outside that zone. Any area that experiences rainfall, can experience flood conditions.
- In 2018, floods caused approximately 1.6 billion U.S. dollars worth of property and crop damage, making it the nation's most common and costly natural disaster.
- Just one inch of water in your home can cost more than $25,000 in damages. The average claim for flood damage is $39,000, according to the National Flood Insurance Program.
- Flooding can be caused by things many homeowners never think of like snowmelt, heavy storms, dams or levees breaking, and new construction or developments in an area changing the flow of water above and below ground.
Flood insurance is affordable and offers peace of mind for homeowners. AFI's licensed agents can work with you to determine the proper flood coverage to protect you and your home. For more information, call an AFI agent toll-free at 800-495-8232 or get a quote online.