There are lots of people who live in high-risk flood zones. People who live near bodies of water such as lakes, streams, and the ocean are at risk for sustaining damages to their property due to flooding. Although flood insurance is as important as regular homeowner’s insurance, most people choose not to purchase it. Most people assume that their regular homeowner’s insurance will cover any damages to their homes that result from a flood. If you have homeowner’s insurance and are contemplating whether or not you need flood insurance, here are five little-known things you need to know.
The Government’s Role in Flood Insurance
Most people believe there is very little difference between homeowner’s insurance and flood insurance. The truth of the matter is they are very different indeed, as they each cover a different set of risks. Beyond that, flood insurance and homeowner’s insurance can be purchased through the same insurance company. However, the federal government underwrites flood insurance policies.
Not Necessarily a Requirement Even if You Live in a High-Risk Flood Zone
One of the biggest reasons most people don’t have flood insurance is because of the expense. Flood insurance by many standards can be deemed as unaffordable for most people. Many people believe, however, that it is a requirement if you live in a high-risk flood zone. The truth of the matter is there are only certain types of mortgages that require flood insurance. Flood insurance becomes a requirement if a loan is regulated by the federal government, or if the mortgage is insured by the federal government. Some examples of these types of arrangements would include the farmer’s Home Administration or FHA, and the Veterans Administration.
Your Property Could be in a Flood Zone and You May Not Know It
If you have been in your house a while, it is possible that you could be living in a high-risk flood zone and not even know it. The reason that this could be a possibility is because of the inaccuracy of the flood zone maps. These Maps have not been updated as they should, although the federal government is making strides to update the information. The best thing homeowners can do is to check at least once a year with an insurer that sells flood zone insurance like Citywide United Insurance Services in El Centro, CA to see if their home is in a safe zone or a high-risk flood zone.
The Coverage is Not the Same
Most people assume flood insurance works in similar ways to homeowner’s insurance. Nothing could be further from the truth. Your home insurance will take care of things like temporary living expenses should you have to leave your home because of a catastrophic event. Such is not the case with flood insurance. Flood insurance will not cover the following if there is water damage or a flood:
- Damages caused by mold mildew
- Any costs or losses related to the interruption of a business because of an inability to use the property
- Motor Vehicles and motorcycles
- Septic systems
- Swimming pools
- Hot tubs index
- Any other possessions outside of the insured home or building
Payout Could Depend on Forensic Science
Forensic science is often used to determine whether flood insurance or homeowner’s insurance should pay for the damage. In cases where homeowners have had roofs blown off due to hurricanes or tornadoes, for example, getting a decision on who is responsible for paying the claim is dependent on what caused the damage and when.
For example, if the wind blew the roof off of a home and water was allowed inside because of it, then homeowners insurance should be responsible for the claim. But it could be possible that saturation from heavy downpours could have caused a roof to leak or cave in thus paving the way for flood insurance to pay the claim. In cases where it is difficult to determine whether the wind came first, or the water came first, forensic science is used to make the determination.
Reach out to the offices of Citywide United Insurance Services in El Centro, CA for more information on flood insurance and how it can benefit your home or business.