In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, it was reported that 82% of Americans don’t have flood insurance, despite flooding being the most common natural disaster in the United States. You can purchase a policy through the government’s National Flood Insurance Program but many people don’t avail of this resource. With the people of New Jersey being told that they will have to reinforce their homes to avoid paying exorbitant premiums in future, now is a good time for us to look at what you need to know when it comes to buying flood insurance for your home.
Is It a Disaster?
Many people think they don’t need flood insurance because you can apply to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the government will cover your expenses. This is not necessarily the case. If a flood or storm does not qualify as a disaster then the government won’t be stepping in. You are better off with insurance that you know will cover you in case of flooding.
Homeowners’ Policy Isn’t Enough
One thing people don’t realise is that their homeowners’ or renters’ policy does not cover them in cases of flood damage. Buying flood insurance needs to be bought separately from the government’s National Flood Insurance Program. Through this you can purchase coverage for damage to your home and its contents. Contents insurance is for covering things such as furniture or expensive electronics.
What’s a Basement?
This is a strange one but it could make a big difference to your flood coverage. If you’re living room is below ground level, it can be classified as a basement. That’s right, your first floor may actually be your basement and you could find it very difficult to get coverage for it. This means take care with what you store in your basement. Anything of considerable value might be better placed on a higher floor.
The cost of flood insurance can vary based on many different factors, such as whether the area you live in is a flood risk or what floor your apartment is on. Flood insurance also doesn’t cover everything. Make sure you know what is protected by your flood insurance policy and what isn’t. Doing some research now could save you money in the future.