According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), floods are the most frequently occurring natural disaster in the United States, which is why it is important to understand the risks and costs associated with flooding, and what you can do to protect your home.
Rampant storms and hurricanes are not the only causes of flood damage – leaky pipes can cause just as much water damage and put a huge hole in your wallet, too. According to FEMA, just 1 inch of water in a home can cost more than $25,000 in damage.
What can you do to protect your home in the event of a flood? First, make sure you have flood insurance. Some people may think they don’t need flood insurance because of where they live. Many may also assume that flooding is included in their homeowner's insurance policy when in fact, most homeowner's policies do not cover flooding.
Why is that?
A string of flood disasters occurred throughout the ‘40s, ‘50s, and ‘60s that put a tremendous financial strain on private insurers, so in response, the federal government created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to protect homeowners, renters, and businesses.
Talk to your insurance agent about getting flood insurance through NFIP. Some companies offer additional unique options. For example, Erie Insurance recently began offering a coverage called Extended Water that covers damage caused from flash floods, inland flooding, storm surges, snow melt, and more. It covers the home and its foundation, electrical and plumbing systems, air conditioning equipment, furnaces and heaters, appliances and personal possessions, such as clothing and furniture. It even offers coverage if you need to temporarily relocate while your home is being repaired.
“As the frequency of flooding increases, homeowners need to understand that flood insurance is typically not included in their standard homeowner's insurance policy, but there are options available,” said Michelle Tennant, vice president of product management, Erie Insurance. “Even if you don’t live in an area that you think is flood-prone, if it rains or snows, it can flood. That’s why it’s so important to talk to your agent about your home and your neighborhood, to make sure you have the coverage that’s right for you.”
To learn more about flood insurance, contact your agent or visit https://www.erieinsurance.com/flood-insurance.
As flooding becomes more frequent, make sure that you have the insurance you need to protect your home and belongings.