What Do I Need to Know About Flood Insurance?
The first thing that anyone needs to know about flood insurance is that it is not included under regular homeowners or rental policies. You need to know the difference between both types of insurance. You also need to know how to determine your risks from flood damage to your home.
Regular Insurance and Flood Insurance
With regular homeowners insurance, your home and your possessions are normally covered for certain types of water damage. A roof leak or broken water pipes inside your home are the forms of damaged covered. Damage from rising waters is not covered. A basic rule of thumb is if the water comes from the top, you are protected. If it comes from the bottom, you are not.
If your basement becomes flooded with excess rainwater, your regular insurance probably will not cover the damages. A flood policy will. Flood insurance can also provide protection against mudslides.
Are You in a Flood Zone?
There are a few ways to determine your amount of risk from a flood. You can consider the past history of your area and location of your home with regard to rivers. Unfortunately, changing climate conditions make previous flood history less than reliable.
Do consider how close you are to larger rivers or the elevation of your home. A home on low ground near a river could be in danger. FloodSmart.gov estimates that almost 20 percent of all flood damage claims come from areas considered low to moderate risk.
Your insurance agent or the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are a better source of information regarding flood zones. You can also look at Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) published by FEMA. The city of Denver hosts its own flood map site for residents. You can view danger zones down to individual streets.
Flood maps can change over the years. This makes it important to check your flood risks on a yearly basis. Changes in rainfall amounts and natural or manmade changes in rivers create changes in flood zones. Colorado residents can stay up-to-date with changes by visiting Colorado’s Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA).
What Does Flood Insurance Cover?
Flood insurance will cover the damages to your home and personal property, up to your limit minus any deductible. This insurance will also cover the costs of clean up and restoration up to your limits.
You need to consider the expenses related to repairing your home and personal property. While many items can be restored, others may require replacement. Flood insurance will help you replace these items including:
- Furniture and bedding
- Decorative items, lamps and lighting fixtures
- Area rugs, carpeting and draperies
- Major appliances, clothes washers and dryers, refrigerators, HVAC systems
Now, if the government declares your area a disaster area, you might get some assistance. However, you would need to be prepared to fill out the paperwork and wait. This is not the best course of action. Check your flood risks and consider purchasing flood insurance from your agent or directly through FloodSmart.gov.
You can count on Professional Restoration to Respond, Recover and Restore your home and life back to order. If you’ve experienced flood or fire and smoke damage call on our experienced team to schedule a free estimate 303-922-4001.