Flood insurance provides financial protection for homeowners and commercial property owners after floods caused by natural disasters. These events would include hurricanes, tropical storms, or heavy rains, as well as swollen rivers and burst dams. Flood insurance is different than water damage repair insurance, which covers floods caused by burst pipes, broken windows, and other damage not related to natural disasters. Your standard homeowner’s policy typically does not cover floods caused by natural disasters, which is why many homeowners often wonder if they can get last minute flood insurance.
In most cases, there is a 30-day waiting period before flood insurance takes effect and you typically cannot buy insurance while a loss is taking place, so if flooding begins the day before your policy goes into effect, you may not be covered.
A home is often the most valuable purchase you’ll make in your lifetime, which is why you want to ensure it is always protected from any potential causes of damage, including floods. To ensure you keep your property covered with adequate insurance policies, note some detailed information about homeowner’s insurance, flood insurance, water damage repair and mold remediation services, and how to protect your property from damage.
Can You Get Flood Insurance for a Home?
Note some very vital information every homeowner should understand about flood insurance coverage and their homeowner’s insurance policy:
• Flood insurance is not typically part of a standard homeowner’s insurance policy. You must purchase this coverage separately from your standard policy.
• Flood insurance and water damage repair coverage are two separate types of policies; as said, flood insurance covers damage caused by natural disasters, whereas water damage remediation refers to damage caused by plumbing leaks or burst pipes, broken aquariums, broken windows that allow in rainwater, and other such disasters.
• You don’t need to purchase flood insurance from the government to be reimbursed after a declared disaster has damaged your property.
• If you purchase flood insurance as part of your new mortgage policy, including a mortgage refinancing, you typically won’t face a thirty-day waiting period for coverage.
• If your property is rezoned as a flood area within the first year of purchasing flood insurance, you typically do not need to wait thirty days for coverage to begin.
• Flood insurance is typically available and sometimes required for properties in high-risk areas such as or designated flood zones. Areas near the coast such are seen to be more risky, especially ones that are in hurricane areas. Water Damage in Atlanta, GA is a perfect example of this because of the flooding caused by nearby hurricanes. Even if not needed, it’s often recommended to add some flood coverage to your homeowner’s insurance policy as heavy storms and broken dams or other barriers can cause flooding in virtually any area of the United States!
What Is Covered By Flood Insurance?
It’s vital to understand that every insurance policy is different, so you need to read your particular policy carefully and ask questions of your insurance agent before signing anything, but note that flood insurance typically covers the following for homeowners:
• The building itself, including its foundation and basement or crawlspace
• Electrical systems and wiring
• Plumbing systems and fixtures
• The built-in HVAC system, meaning a central air conditioner and furnace
• The water heater
• Large kitchen appliances (refrigerator, stove, built-in dishwasher)
• Permanently installed carpeting (excluding area rugs)
• Permanently installed or built-in shelving, bookcases, and paneling
Your policy might cover debris removal and a certain percent of damage to a detached garage. Ask your agent about coverage for these additional items, if needed, and any limitations on the amount you would be reimbursed.
Does Flood Insurance Cover Personal Belongings?
Personal belongings and items like small appliances might be covered by flood insurance, although there are typically more limitations on this coverage than on your home itself. Ask your agent about your coverage if you need to include any of the following items in your flood insurance policy:
• Clothes, shoes, and accessories
• Electronics, including computers
• Curtains and blinds
• Window air conditioners and portable units, space heaters
• Small kitchen appliances, including microwave ovens and portable dishwashers
• Area rugs
• Washers and dryers
• Stand-alone freezers, including foodstuffs in the freezer
• Artwork, furs, antiques, fine jewelry, and other items with high value
What Isn’t Covered By Flood Insurance
Flood insurance isn’t entirely comprehensive, and it’s good for homeowners to understand what expenses related to a residential flood are not covered. In most cases, the following costs are not included in a flood insurance policy, so ask your insurance agent about added coverage for these items, if needed:
• Paper currency and valuable papers such as stocks and bearer bonds
• Precious metals and jewels
• Objects outside the insured building, including landscaping, septic tanks, and fences
• Damage to vehicles including motorcycles, an ATV, and trailer
Your flood insurance policy also typically does not cover expenses for temporary housing or loss of income due to business interruption or because a homeowner needs to miss work and repair their property.
Do You Need Water Damage and Repair?
Water damage and repair is vital after any flood, no matter its severity. Even small amounts of water are easily absorbed by wall studs and floorboards, softening those materials and increasing the risk of chips, cracks, and other damage. Excess moisture trapped under carpet padding often leads to bothersome mildew that an everyday household vacuum cleaner cannot extract.
Professional water damage repair services will remove all trapped floodwaters as well as excess moisture from the air, ensuring that your home’s carpeting and building materials are dried thoroughly and protected from damage. Mold remediation services also protect your home from potential mold growth after floodwaters have receded.
Will the government cover the cost of repairs if a flood is declared a “disaster zone”?
When the government declares a location a disaster zone, they typically allocate more funds for infrastructure repairs and may have funds available for homeowners to borrow. However, rarely does the government write homeowners a check for needed flood repairs.
Can you get last minute flood insurance for your car?
Most insurance companies won’t sell last-minute flood insurance if your area is under a storm watch. However, if your area is not yet under a storm watch, you might be able to purchase comprehensive vehicle coverage that includes flood damage.
Ramy Ramon is the owner of 24/7 Water Damage Atlanta, a family owned and local business who provides round the clock emergency protection for his friends neighbors and Atlanta residents. His company is ready for any storm, flood or hurricane to help deal with all the water damage cleanup, any fire damage and all the mold remediation for those that do not get services soon enough.