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Should I Buy Flood Insurance for My Home or Business?

Should I Buy Flood Insurance for My Home or Business - Garrett Insurance

Floods have impacted nearly every county in the United States in recent years. Flooding can significantly damage your home or business. A single inch of water can cause $25,000 in damage to a property.

While you might hear more about earthquakes, fires, hurricanes, and tornadoes, flooding is the most common disaster in the U.S. — and the costliest. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) encourages purchasing flood insurance for your home or business. Otherwise, you could end up on the hook for the costs associated with flooding damage.

Here is what you need to know about flood insurance in Texas and Kansas and how to buy it through an independent insurance company like Garrett Insurance.

What Is Flood Insurance?

Flood insurance is a policy separate from your homeowners, renter’s, or business insurance. Most homeowners insurance policies don’t include flood insurance.

Buying flood insurance for your buildings, their contents, or both can give you coverage from flood damage. If you rent, consider purchasing flood insurance to cover your belongings inside the property.

Without flood insurance, you pick up the tab for flood damage. The disaster assistance that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) pays to flood victims only happens when the president declares a national disaster, and most floods never reach that status. The assistance is intended to kick-start recovery, not pay to replace your home, business, or belongings.

Also, federal disaster assistance is a loan that must be repaid. On the other hand, flood insurance payouts for damage from flooding don’t have to be repaid.

Flood insurance is available from the NFIP through an independent insurance agency. Some private insurers also offer flood insurance policies.

What Does Flood Insurance Cover?

If you buy an NFIP policy through an independent insurance agent, you can get coverage for your structure, belongings, or both. Take a closer look at what building coverage and contents coverage can help pay to repair or replace after flooding:

Building Coverage

Building coverage typically includes the physical structure of your home and its foundation. For example, the following elements of your structure are often covered:

  • Electrical and plumbing systems
  • Furnaces and water heaters
  • Refrigerators, stoves, and built-in kitchen appliances
  • Foundation walls, staircases, and anchorage systems
  • Detached garages
  • Well water tanks and pumps, fuel tanks, and solar equipment

There are limits and exclusions, so always make sure to consult your policy to know what’s specifically covered.

Contents Coverage

Content coverage incorporates a range of personal property within your home. That property includes:

  • Clothing, furniture, electronic equipment, and other personal belongings
  • Curtains
  • Washers and dryers
  • Microwave ovens
  • Valuables like artwork and furs worth up to $2,500

Content coverage can help replace other items not built into your home, such as portable and window air conditioners, carpet installed over wood floors, and freezers.

Flood insurance only covers losses caused directly by flooding. The NFIP defines flooding as water on land that is normally dry and that impacts two acres or two or more properties.

What Doesn’t Flood Insurance Cover?

It’s important to note that flood insurance doesn’t cover all of your property and belongings, or other costs associated with being displaced by flooding. Here’s what isn’t generally covered:

  • Temporary housing and other living expenses while displaced
  • Any property outside your structure
  • Financial losses from your business being interrupted
  • Currency, precious metals, stock certificates, and other valuable papers
  • Vehicles
  • Personal property kept in a basement

You can talk to an independent insurance agent to better understand your flood insurance policy.

Flood Insurance Coverage Limits

Coverage for your structure and belongings is typically purchased separately through an independent insurance company. The coverage limits are different for homeowners, businesses, and renters.

Homeowners

You can buy building and contents flood insurance from the NFIP for your home, which includes condominiums and townhouses. The coverage limits are $250,000 for the structure and $100,000 for your things.

Business Owners

An independent insurance agent can sell you commercial flood insurance for your building and equipment. The coverage limits for the building and its contents are each $500,000.

Renters

As a renter, your concern is your belongings in the building. The property owner may or may not have flood insurance. You can purchase flood insurance with a limit of $100,000 for your belongings.

Each building and contents policy for homeowners and commercial business owners, as well as the contents-only policy for renters, comes with a deductible.

How to Buy Flood Insurance

Flood insurance has a 30-day waiting period before it’s effective in more cases, so it’s better to purchase a policy before it is needed. You can buy a policy through an independent insurance company. An independent insurance agent can write a flood insurance policy directly with the NFIP.

The federal government requires you to carry flood insurance if you have a government-backed mortgage in a high-risk flood area. Also, a lender might require flood insurance, even if you live outside a high-risk area. The NFIP encourages people and businesses both inside and outside designated flood areas to consider carrying flood insurance.

Flood insurance from the NFIP is available only in the nearly 23,000 communities participating in the program. You can check with your local independent insurance agent to see if your community participates, or you can check online with FEMA.

Find an Independent Insurance Agent Near You

If you are considering flood insurance in Texas or Kansas, turn to the knowledgeable team at Garrett Insurance. Our independent insurance agency puts your needs and interests first, and integrity is the cornerstone of our business. Get in touch today.

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