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Living in the Sunshine State like I do, one thing is certain: the entire state is at risk of flooding. OK, this is a bit of an exaggeration, but it's not that far off. With the high risk of floods in many parts of the country, it really pays to have flood insurance if you are a home owner. While many people think this is included with their normal homeowner insurance policy, the sad truth is, it is not.
One of my closest friends experienced the nightmare of a flood a couple of years ago after a tropical storm raged through our area. Though the winds were not enough to do any damage, the rains were relentless and his house ended up with about six inches of water in it.
The end result was nearly $12,000 in damages. Worst of all he had to pay for those damages because his homeowner insurance policy did not cover the flood damage.
Even after he paid to have the damages repaired his house still became inundated with mold. To this day he says the house is still not right and he keeps spending his own money to try to make things right.
Insurance Companies May Not Say What You Need
In the state of Florida, if you own a home and you have a mortgage on that home, you have to have flood insurance if that home is in what is referred to as a "flood zone." However, if the home is not located inside a flood zone, your insurance company may not say a word to you about obtaining it as it then becomes an option. Therefore it is always wise to inquire on your own.
Low Cost for Peace of Mind
The price of obtaining flood insurance will of course vary. Factors that are used to determine the price are coverage levels and whether or not you are actually in a flood zone. According to my wife, who is an insurance agent, the price for flood insurance can range from as low as $400, outside of a flood zone to around $1,000 for a home that is considered "deep" in a flood zone. But, because flood insurance rates are set by FEMA, they will be the same regardless of the carrier you choose to go with.
So, flood insurance is an added cost, but the peace of mind it can buy is priceless. Besides, if the rains ever come and the water levels rise, you will be glad you have it; just ask my friend.
Homeowner Insurance Will Not Cover You
Water can rise in many instances. Along with torrential downpours, there are things like a sewer backup that can occur without warning. When something like this does happen, your homeowners insurance policy will do you no good. When water takes over your home, the only thing that will save the day is a quality flood insurance policy in full effect.
I personally do not own a home right now, but I am looking. When I do find what I am after you can bet I will obtain flood insurance just as soon as I am able.
More from this contributor:
- flood insurance
- homeowner insurance