Storm season is almost here, which means now is the best time to get flood insurance if you don't already have it. Contrary to what a lot of homeowners think, homeowner's insurance doesn't automatically cover damages caused by flooding. Flood insurance is a separate insurance, offered through insurance agents and backed by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). You don't need to apply directly with the NFIP--your insurance agent can help you secure flood insurance.
A lot of people don't understand flood insurance. Here are some answers to the most common flood insurance questions that homeowners and renters have.
How much does flood insurance cost?
On average, flood insurance costs around $700 per year. The rate fluctuates depending on how likely it is that your property is going to experience a flood. Talk to your insurance agent to assess your risk.
Is flood insurance expensive?
Considering that it can cost up to $25,000 to repair flood damages to a home, paying around $700 a year for flood insurance isn't expensive.
What is the average cost of flood insurance in Houston?
Texas is on the lower end of the spectrum as far as how expensive flood insurance is, with an average cost of $500 per year. Your specific cost will be determined by your home's exact location and the coverage you want.
Is flood insurance required?
Generally, no, flood insurance is not required. The exception is that if you live in a high-risk flood area, you might be required to get flood insurance by FEMA.
Can flood insurance be escrowed?
Yes. As of January 1, 2016, all lenders must offer the option for you to escrow flood insurance premiums. All residential property in flood hazard areas must have their flood insurance premiums and fees escrowed.
What does flood insurance cover?
Flood insurance covers damages up to the amount specified in your policy, which usually caps out around $350,000. Here are things that flood insurance covers:
- Appliances: Any appliance damaged from a flood will be covered by your flood insurance. The food inside your refrigerator and freezer, however, will not be covered. You might be able to get those covered by your homeowner's insurance.
- Major systems: Your HVAC, electrical, and plumbing systems are covered under your flood insurance. Solar energy systems are also covered, as are water and fuel tanks and the water and fuel in them.
- Carpeting: Getting new flooring after a flood can be a major headache. Fortunately, carpeting is covered by flood insurance.
- Window treatments: Blinds and curtains are generally covered by flood insurance.
- Built-in cabinets and bookshelves: Damaged built-in cabinets and bookshelves are covered by flood insurance, but undamaged ones are not.
- Attached staircases: If the flood caused the earth to move and damage an attached staircase, then it will be covered by flood insurance.
- Detached garage: Up to 10 percent of your total building coverage can be used toward a detached garage that is used for limited storage and parking.
- Personal property: Anything that you used on a normal basis that was damaged by a flood can be covered. This includes clothes, furniture, and electronics.
- Valuables: There's a $2,500 provision for valuables like artwork.
What does flood insurance not cover?
Flood insurance does not cover furniture and personal property located in a basement. Also not covered are:
- Loss of income
- Precious metals
- Stock and bond certificates
- Septic systems
- Swimming pools
- Hot tubs
- Sewer backup damages
Where can I buy flood insurance?
You can buy flood insurance from any reputable insurance agent. You want to work with a company who knows the area, so we encourage you to reach out to us for your needs for flood insurance in Houston.
When does flood insurance take effect?
In Texas, there's a 30-day waiting period before flood insurance takes effect.
Who provides flood insurance?
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) provides flood insurance, which you can secure through your insurance agent. You can also purchase flood insurance through other insurance companies. However availability is dependent on numerous factors. To see if you qualify, seek advice from an independent insurance agent.
Is there flood insurance for renters in Texas?
Yes, renters can buy up to $100,000 in coverage for the contents of their home in addition to their standard renter's insurance policy.
Does homeowner's insurance cover flooding?
No, home insurance does not cover flooding due to natural disasters.
Does renter's insurance cover flooding?
No, renters insurance does not cover flooding due to natural disasters.
Does car/auto insurance cover flooding?
Car insurance can cover car flood damage if you have the right policy. Talk to your insurance agent to see if your car is covered.
Do I need flood insurance?
Yes, all homeowners and renters should get flood insurance, considering that 90 percent of natural disasters involve some form of flooding that isn't covered by homeowner's or renter's insurance.
Flood insurance will add a small cost to your monthly payments, but it's a small price to pay for the peace of mind it brings. Now is a great time to buy flood insurance so that it goes into effect before the storm season really takes off. Find out more about flood insurance by visiting our website, and contact us for a free quote!