We get this question quite often in our office. What is flood insurance or do I need it? Well, there’s a couple of different things with flood insurance. People make mistakes sometimes about flood insurance and sewer backup insurance. Today I’m going to define those for you, show you the difference, and then you can have an intelligence with your agent on weather you need to have that coverage or not.
Let’s start off with defining flood and backup with drains and sewers. Flood insurance covers when water comes in it’s considered surface water weather its through doors or windows. Water that was on the surface and is now in your home. That’s what a flood is. You may need that if you live on a flood plane or if your area is prone to surface water flooding. If you’re on a lake or river, you may strongly consider that coverage.
Sewer backup, or sump pump failure coverage, is very very common. You can purchase that right underneath your homeowner’s policy and it’s generally a lot less expensive than flood coverage.
Let’s talk about that then. So, if you live in a flood zone, you’re going to want to look into flood insurance. You can find out if you live in a flood zone by calling your community and talking with the city hall [inaudible]. If you live in a flood zone, they have flood determination maps. You’ll need to know the zone you’re in in order to get a quote. You go about getting a quote through – we recommend using an independent agency, they have access to The National Flood Insurance Program and they’ll be able to get you a quote. Flood prices are going to be based on how close you are to the flooding areas, how often it floods, how much your home is worth, if you want to insure contents, do you have a basement? All of these things are going to factor into it. You need a good agent that’s familiar with the flood program that can work with you and get you a rate. But, if you live in an area prone to that or you’re not sure, definitely call your agent and look into it.
More commonly, sewer backup or sub pump failure. That coverage can get added right onto your homeowner’s policy. It’s just an endorsement added on there and it covers damage from water backing up through a drain in your basement or sub pump failure. This is used quite often. It’s one of the most common claims we see. I highly recommend you look into that. It’ generally considered fairly inexpensive. It’s usually under $100 for most people and it covers water damages weather it be items that are stored down there, weather it be finished products like carpet, or cabinetry, or drywall. It also covers any mechanicals down there if you have a hot water heater or a furnace. Those are all things that sewer backup will cover if you have one of those losses and you have damage due to that.
How much coverage do you need? Well, it depends on what your loss is. Generally, in the lowest slope in your home, if it finished you’re going to want more coverage than if it not finished. Keep an idea of inventory of what you have stored down there. Work with your agent. Again, we will encourage you to work with your independent agent to determine if you need these coverages.
Should you file a claim? Well, if you have a little damage you may not want to file a claim for something small. If it’s a big disaster, yeah, you’re going to need to get a claim going and your agent can help you do that.