Looking for the best and cheapest Flood Insurance in Texas? You've found the right place.
Spring showers bring May flowers, but it also brings an increased risk of flooding. Texas is certainly no stranger to severe weather and flooding and if you are not carrying a flood insurance policy you could be on the hook for repairing or rebuilding your home if it is damaged by flood waters.
While flood insurance may seem confusing, it is actually fairly simple to put a policy in place. We thought it might be a good idea to do a quick overview of flood insurance. Here is everything you need to know about flood insurance:
Is flood insurance mandatory?
If you own your home free and clear nobody can force you to put a flood insurance policy in place. On the other hand, if you have a mortgage on the property or have received disaster assistance in the past and want to be eligible for it in the future you may be required to carry a flood insurance policy.
- Federal Insured Lenders: The majority of mortgages come from a federally regulated or insured lender and if you have one of these types of mortgage and live in a high-risk flood zone, you will probably be required to carry flood insurance. This can also apply to moderate and low risk flood areas depending on your lender requirements.
- Disaster Assistance: If you have received disaster assistance in the past, you may have to carry flood insurance if you want to be eligible for disaster assistance in the future. The assistance in question relates to grants from FEMA or low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration to help you repair or rebuild your home. If you decide to forgo flood insurance, you may find your application for assistance rejected.
Mortgage lenders require flood insurance to help protect the investment they have made in your home. Flood damage can quickly add up to the tens of thousands of dollars in damages. If you are not insured, all of these costs will be your responsibility. If you are considering a specific home, check with your lender if they will require flood insurance before making an offer.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Flood Damage?
In most cases, the answer is a resounding no. Flood damage is excluded from almost all standard homeowners policy which means that unless you are carrying a separate flood insurance policy you will be on the hook for all flood damage.
There are a few companies that have started offering homeowner policies that include some flood insurance coverage but these products are new to the market and you should make sure you read the fine print and understand all details of the policy, including coverage levels and deductibles for flood damage.
Is Flood Insurance Worth the Cost?
While every situation is different, in almost all cases, the protection that flood insurance provides is worth the cost. According to FEMA data, just one inch of water in your home can easily cause over $25,000 worth of damage. If you cannot afford to cover these types of cost out of pocket, you need a flood insurance policy.
This applies to homeowners who live in low to moderate risk flood areas as well. Over 20 percent of flood claims are for properties that are outside of high-risk flood zones. If you have any risk of flood damage you should consider a flood policy. Flood insurance can certainly be expensive if you live oceanfront but if you are in a low to moderate risk area it is a very affordable protection.
What Exactly Does Flood Insurance Cover?
The majority of flood insurance policies are purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) but these policies do come with coverage limits. A standard NFIP policy covers the following:
- Structure of the Home: NFIP policies protect the physical structure of your home as well as the foundation, electrical and pluming systems. Central air and heating are protected as are any built-ins you have in the home. Detached garages are covered but additional outbuildings are not. Coverage is replacement cost for a primary residence but actual cash value for a vacation home.
- Contents Coverage: NFIP policies also cover your personal property. This includes everything from your furniture and electronics to clothing, appliances and even window treatments. It may cover high value items such as jewelry and artwork, but these types of items are usually subject to a coverage cap. NFIP policies come with a total contents coverage cap of $100,000 so if it would cost more than that to replace all of your contents, you may need to find additional coverage in the private market.
- Specific valuables such as precious metals, stock certificates and currency
- Outdoor property that includes fences, landscaping, wells, septic tanks, hot tubs and pools
- Additional living expenses coverage. If you home is rendered uninhabitable due to flooding, a NFIP policy will not cover expenses such as restaurants, hotel rooms and other day to day living expenses
- Cars and other vehicles would be protected by your auto insurance policy, assuming you are carrying comprehensive coverage
When it comes to the structure of your home the maximum coverage level with a NFIP policy is $250,000 which means that if your home would cost more than that to rebuild, you may need to find supplemental coverage in the private market. It should also be noted that private market policies can come with limitations so make sure you read the entire policy and ask questions about anything you don’t understand.
What Doesn’t Flood Insurance Cover?
There are exclusions with an NFIP policy. Flood insurance never covers the damage in a basement (except mechanicals such as heating and air) as well as outdoor items such as decks, patios, grills and patio furniture. Here is a quick list of other items not covered by a standard flood insurance policy:
Exclusions in private market flood insurance policies can vary so make sure you check the coverage details before signing on the dotted line.
Can I Purchase Flood Insurance After a Storm is Headed My Way?
No, NFIP polices have a 30-day waiting period before coverage starts so if you wait until a storm is headed towards your house before buying a policy you will not be covered in time. The majority of private market policies also come with a waiting period although it tends to be shorter, 10 days is fairly standard. The best idea is to purchase a flood insurance policy before storm season.
Many insurers stop selling polices once a storm has been named so waiting is never a good idea when it comes to flood insurance.
How Expensive is Flood Insurance?
Flood insurance can vary dramatically in price depending on the location of your home. An oceanfront house can cost thousands of dollars a year to insure while a house located in a moderate or low risk area may only cost $200 to protect. According to NFIP data, the average price of a flood insurance policy is currently $700 a year.
Pricing in the private market can vary, in some cases they may be more affordable than an NFIP policy and in others they may be more expensive. It is always a good idea to shop both policies before making a final decision.
For a quote, call or text us at (281) 242-0020 or go to: https://www.gorockland.com/flood-insurance/quote
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