Strong storms, hurricanes, overflowing rivers … Depending on where you live, your home could be prone to flooding. With that in mind, do you have flood insurance?
You may not be aware of this, but homeowners insurance (which we highly recommend you purchase if you haven’t already) generally does not include flood insurance. To the surprise of many, 86% of the homes in the United States do not have flood insurance, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III).
A recent report by the III found that in the United States, only 14% of homeowners currently have flood insurance, with 19% of homes in the South, 13% of homes in the Midwest, 12% in the West, and only 5% of homes in the Northeast covered for flooding.
That said, the threat of flooding is very real. In the first half of 2011 there were 28 federally declared flood disasters, following up on 50 such declarations in 2010. And this only accounts for national disasters and does not encompass all of the flooding at the state and local levels.
To apply for flood insurance, you can check out the National Flood Insurance Program offered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), or you can go through a private insurance company. But keep in mind that not all insurance companies offer flood insurance.
So, to recap, if you own a home and don’t have homeowners insurance, we highly recommend you start there. Remember, by bundling it with your auto insurance you could save on both. Then, especially if you are in a flood-prone area, adding flood insurance on top of your home policy could save you a ton of money for when distaster strikes.