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According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, floods are the number one type of natural disaster reported in the United States; even an inch of water can cause serious damage to your home. Depending upon where you live and the type of mortgage you have on your home, you might be legally obligated to carry flood insurance. If this is your first experience with flood insurance, here are some critical questions you need to ask your agent.
Is the Home in a Flood Risk Area?
There are three different types of flood risk areas: high-risk, moderate-to-low-risk, and undetermined risk. The area in which you live will determine if you are legally obligated to carry flood insurance. If you live in a high-risk flood zone and have a federally backed mortgage, you might be required to carry flood insurance in order to secure the mortgage.
Even if you live in an area that is at a moderate to low risk of flooding, you should consider carrying flood insurance, even though you do not legally have to purchase a policy. The risk of a flood is not as great, but because the risk is not nonexistent, it is best to carry a policy because if you suffer a flood, the damage will typically not be covered by your traditional homeowner's insurance.
What Does Flood Insurance Cover?
Typically, if your home suffers water damage that is directly caused by a flood and you have flood insurance, the damage to your property will be covered. This includes your appliances, your home's HVAC system, your property's electrical and plumbing systems, your home's carpeting and flooring, your home's foundation, and your fuel oil tank.
Additionally, any damage that is caused to any installed kitchen or bathroom cabinets and blinds or drapes will also be covered. Check your policy to ensure that you are protecting your belongings outside your home or garage against flood damage. This could include your in-ground pool, deck, or patio.
How Do You File a Flood Insurance Claim?
Finally, if your home suffers flood damage, the first step is to contact your insurance provider. Tell the provider that your home has suffered flood damage and that you would like to file a claim. An adjuster will come to your home to assess the damage. Take several pictures of the damage and write down exactly what happened. This will provide you with additional evidence that will help support your claim.
For many homeowners, flood insurance is not only required but also critical if they suffer flood damage. Contact your flood insurance provider with any additional questions.Share