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flooded houseIt only takes a few inches of water to do thousands of dollars in damage to your home. Floods occur in every state and only those "lucky" victims with flood insurance can be compensated for their loss. That's right. Your home insurance policy does not cover floods, contrary to popular belief. But, if you don't live close to a river or in a low-lying area that is prone to flooding, do you really need to buy a flood insurance policy?

If you have a mortgage and live in a designated Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), you are required to have flood insurance. Policies are issued through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and can be purchased from your independent insurance agent. Unlike auto or home insurance, you don't have to shop for price. Every insurance agent is obligated to charge the same price for the same coverage.

How Much Does It Cost?

Your premium will vary depending upon a number of different variables, including:
  • Amount of coverage you need or want
  • The deductible that you choose
  • The area in which you live
Under the NFIP, a residential dwelling can be insured up to a maximum amount of $250,000 and the contents can be insured up to $100,000. For commercial buildings the coverage for the structure and the contents is limited to $500,000. All other things being equal, your premium will be higher when you buy a greater amount of coverage. The most influential factor in determining the premium is where your property falls on the community's Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM).

You can lower your premium by choosing a higher deductible. Just remember that you are responsible for the cost of all damages until your loss exceeds the deductible.

What Is A Flood Insurance Rate Map?

Each county is divided up into communities, and each community has a map showing the areas that are most or least likely to flood. These areas are called flood zones and are given an alphabetical designation—such as B, C or X—that corresponds to the level of risk of flooding. If your home happens to fall in a high-risk flood zone, your premium will be higher than someone in a low-risk zone or someone outside of any designated flood zone.

A Few Final Points

  • Don't wait until the danger of flooding is imminent. When you buy a policy, it does not go into effect for 30 days.
  • Flood Insurance only covers damage from water intrusion from outside your home. A standard home insurance policy usually covers water damage due to leaky pipes and overflowing bath tubs.
  • Coverage for basements and areas below the lowest elevated floor is limited.
Are you covered? Call All About Insurance at (817) 589-0006 for more information on Dallas flood insurance.
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