Did you know that flooding s the most common and costly natural disaster in the States, according to FEMA? And most homeowners are not adequately prepared to deal with rising flood waters. Why? Here are three common misconceptions about flood insurance needs:
- My homeowners insurance will cover flood damage. False. Home insurance covers lots of things, but flood damage is not usually one of them. You should check your homeowners insurance policy to make sure, but most cases it is not included.
- I can’t afford flood insurance. Not necessarily! FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program have flood insurance polices that you can get at very reasonable premiums. It works by scaling your FEMA risk. The lower your risk, the less your coverage will cost.
- There is no river, stream, lake or pond near my home or business, so I am not at risk for being in a flood zone. False! Flooding can happen anywhere, not just in flood zones. Nearby water sources are not required for an area to be labeled a flood zone. Many areas in the Palmetto State are FEMA-designated flood zones, all with varying levels of risk.
As sea levels rise along South Carolina’s coasts, rivers and lakes may rise as well, causing even more flooding threats to your home and business. This rise in sea levels is not only eroding home values, it is also putting none-costal homes at risk, so it is good to know what flood insurance covers and weigh that against your willingness to risk damage to your home or business.
So what is flood insurance and what does it tend to cover?
According to Insurance Information Institute, “flood insurance covers direct physical losses by flood and losses resulting from flood-related erosion caused by heavy or prolonged rain, coastal storm surge, snow melt, blocked storm drainage systems, levee dam failure or other similar causes. To be considered a flood, waters must cover at least two acres or affect two properties.” Home coverages varies from carriers so it is best to shop your policy before making a choice. It is also important to note, policyholders typically must wait 30 days before their policy takes effect. So you cannot purchase flood insurance once floodwaters begin to rise.
The SCDOI urges all home and business owners to purchase flood insurance. It is more affordable than you might think, and it will save you a lot of money if you are ever the victim of flood waters.