Flooding happens without warning and can cause significant damage, leading many people to buy flood insurance to protect their personal finances. However, not all flood insurance policies are created equal. Deciding to buy one without fully understanding how this type of insurance works could leave you in a bad situation when you thought you were fully covered.
If you want to learn more about flood insurance and what options might best suit your specific needs, talk to a seasoned legal professional at Ostroff Godshall Injury and Accident Lawyers. We can review the basics of this type of insurance and explain what to expect from your coverage plan.
Different Types of Flood Insurance Coverage
Flood insurance comes in two forms: building coverage and contents coverage. The first type of coverage is meant to reimburse you for damage caused by a flood to things on your property that can’t move elsewhere. It generally covers buildings and all the fixtures inside them, including:
- Electrical wiring
- Built-in appliances and cabinets
- Well water tanks
Contents coverage, however, covers damage to property that isn’t fixed in place and could be moved around. This can include large appliances like washing machines and air conditioning units, decorations like curtains or artwork, and various personal items ranging from furniture to clothing to family photos and heirlooms.
Different flood insurance policies may include only one or both types of coverage. If you’re unsure what a particular policy might include, a legal representative can help you understand the terms and answer any questions.
When Does Flood Insurance Kick In?
Flood insurance doesn’t necessarily protect you from every type of water damage that happens on your property. It is a type of catastrophe insurance, like policies meant to deal with hurricane or wildfire damage, which means it doesn’t kick in unless a flood occurs. This could involve water overflowing from a natural waterway or building up due to extreme rainfall and covering multiple acres of land that are usually dry.
If your home suffers water damage because a pipe bursts in your wall due to shoddy construction work, that might be covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy but not by flood insurance. On the other hand, if a pipe bursts specifically because of pressure caused by rising floodwaters, your flood insurance might cover any resulting damage.
Options for Getting Flood Insurance Coverage
If you live somewhere designated as a floodplain by the National Flood Insurance Program (a federal program run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency), you may be able to purchase flood insurance from private insurance companies with support from the NFIP. You can learn more about how your property is “zoned” by FEMA and what coverage options you might have by going to Floodsmart.gov. It’s also possible to get your own flood insurance plan separate from the federal government by buying directly from a private insurance company.
For more information about flood insurance and how to ensure you are covered in emergencies, reach out to Ostroff Godshall Injury and Accident Lawyers.