Each year, the U.S. goes through several climate disasters, costing billions of dollars in damage costs. From inland flooding to hurricanes and more, many homes have to face the threat of flood damage at some point.
If you’re in a location that’s prone to flooding, you may have considered buying flood insurance. Before you buy flood insurance, make sure you ask the right questions to ensure you get the best coverage possible.
When you talk to your agent, remember these questions to ask about flood insurance.
1. Do I Need Flood Insurance?
Many people even wonder if they need flood insurance in the first place. While it’s not usually required by law, it’s often recommended.
Even if you have homeowner’s insurance, more often than not, it doesn’t cover flooding. Rain, snow, hurricanes, and even burst pipes can cause major water damage to your home and belongings.
Whether you’re in a high-risk or low-risk area for flooding, you should care about the danger. Your home is perhaps your greatest investment, after all.
2. What Does Flood Insurance Cover?
Ask your agent what your flood insurance will actually cover since coverage varies based on the agency. For instance, does the plan cover hurricane flooding, or is that separate? Is there any event that wouldn’t be covered, and why?
Does your flood insurance cover the cost of belongings, or do you need to get separate coverage for that?
3. How Do I Determine the Lowest Point?
Talk to them about what your home’s lowest point is because this can impact your premium. Sometimes, generators and AC units are set lower than the house’s foundation, making this the lowest point in your home.
As the elevation goes down, your premium amount goes up.
When you’re considering flood insurance coverage, make sure you know the location of the lowest point. Balance the coverage for different areas of your home as necessary.
4. What Are My Coverage Options?
There are usually two types of flood insurance: one that covers your belongings and one that covers the structure (your house).
If you only get coverage for your home, you’ll have to replace the furniture, electronics, and other possessions on your own. It’s best to get insurance for both your home (structural) and your personal property.
Determine the maximum flood insurance coverage amount and then work with your agent to figure out what you need. The maximum amount for homeowners is different than it is for businesses.
5. Does the Policy Cover Temporary Accommodations?
If you need to leave your home due to flooding or damage, ask your agent about temporary accommodation coverage.
Depending on the agency, it may or may not cover temporary living expenses. These costs can include hotel stays, meals, and more.
Before you buy flood insurance, ask about terms like “loss of use” or “additional living expenses,” as you’ll need to account for these costs in the event of a disaster.
Buy Flood Insurance to Protect Your Property
Before you buy flood insurance, make sure you talk to your agent about all your options. Understand the ins and outs of flood insurance and balance your coverage options as necessary.
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