June 26th, 2014
If you live near a river or on a floodplain, you probably already have flood protection in addition to your homeowners insurance policy. For those who live in an area considered to be low risk for flooding, coverage may not seem like a necessity, but it can still offer peace of mind in the instance that a flood does happen.
Who needs flood insurance?
There are many homeowners across the country who don't think they need flood insurance or are under the impression their homeowners insurance will cover them in the case of water damage. But there are many cases when it pays to have flood protection, and you don't want to be left with a flooded basement and no coverage.
Take for example a few homes in Hood County, Texas, where floods ravaged properties and caused thousands of dollars in water damage. Local CBS affiliate DFW reported that nine homes were completely destroyed and another dozen in the town of Granbury were damaged by a sudden, unexpected flood just days after the first official day of summer.
The local Granbury creek, which overflowed and caused the flood, has reportedly overflowed in the past, though residents told DFW it had been a few years since the last occurrence. Drought conditions in the region left many homeowners unconcerned about potential rising waters until a downpour caused the creek to overflow once again. The flood not only caused damage to several homes in the area, but also washed away several hundred feet of fence.
Granbury was only determined to lie on a floodplain just last year. This change forced some residents to invest in flood insurance, though few expected that they would ever need it. Fortunately for those with a policy, the cost proved to be well worth it in light of the most recent flood.
Weighing the cost
One reason some homeowners choose to forego flood insurance is the cost. Between mortgage payments, homeowners insurance, home maintenance and other daily expenses, just living in a home can add up quickly. In the short term, some may find that skimping on flood protection can keep a wallet fuller. However, in the long run, the devastation and damage from a flood can prove to be much more expensive.
If you live in a floodplain, it is essential that you find coverage before disaster strikes. Not only will you be able to replace destroyed belongings after a flood with insurance, but you will have the financial protection to rebuild if your house is damaged. This hurricane season, it's important to get coverage as soon as possible and take into account any waiting periods for coverage to start.
"Buying and maintaining flood insurance assures you that assistance will arrive when you have to deal with a flood damaged property," said Alejandro De La Campa, director of the Caribbean area division for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. "Take steps now to protect your property and financial well-being."