Water belongs in oceans, rivers, and even your backyard pool, but one place it does not belong is inside your home. Despite being the most costly and frequent type of home damage, flood damage is an excluded event in Minnesota homeowners insurance policies. Instead, you will need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy to safeguard your house and the things inside it against the financial burden that comes with flood damage cleanup and repairs.
At Krog Insurance, we know how devastating just an inch of water can be for your home and personal belongings. It can destroy walls, baseboards, carpeting, wood flooring, and even your furniture and appliances. Don’t spend tens of thousands of dollars cleaning up after a disaster when a flood insurance policy from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) can foot the bill instead.
The National Flood Insurance Program
Flood insurance in the United States is purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program – a federally backed program overseen and managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This coverage makes it easy for homeowners and renters in nearly any risk zone to find affordable flood insurance that protects both the home’s structure and the contents inside. Because NFIP coverage is government-backed, it can effectively minimize the financial burden of flooding while also providing coverage that might otherwise be unavailable or unaffordable on the private market.
Types of Flood Coverage
NFIP insurance covers two different types of flood damages. The first is damage to the structure of your property. Homeowners and other property owners may purchase this coverage to ensure funding for clean-up after a flood, as well as the rebuilding of the interior and exterior structure, including the walls, flooring, and finishes. The National Flood Insurance Program generally caps structural flood coverage at $250,000, but you may be able to find supplemental protection beyond those limits on the private market.
NFIP coverage can also compensate for personal property damages, such as ruined furniture, electronics, and appliances. This protection is usually capped at $100,000, but it only covers the depreciated, actual cash value of your belongings – not the full cost of replacement. Personal property flood insurance is generally recommended for more property owners, as well as renters who wish to safeguard physical assets against groundwater damages.
Do You Need Flood Insurance?
If you live in a high-risk flood zone, federal law may require you to have flood insurance. If you live in a moderate-risk flood zone, your mortgage lender may require you to have flood insurance. In some cases, homeowners may even start off with low to moderate-risk designation and then receive notification later that the property has been re-zoned as high-risk. In all of these cases, flood insurance is not only necessary – it’s mandatory.
Even if you live in a low-risk flood zone, though, we still recommend flood protection for your home and belongings. That is because just one inch of standing water can cost $27,000 or more in damages. Considering one in four flooded homes is located in an area labeled ‘low risk’, going without coverage can be a gamble. Fortunately, the cost of coverage is directly correlated to your risk of experiencing a flood. If you live in a low-risk region, you will likely pay less for flood insurance than someone who lives in a higher risk area.
To find out your home’s estimated flood risks, type your address and home coordinates into FEMA’s flood map search tool.
Disaster Assistance vs. Flood Insurance
Disaster assistance is not the equivalent of flood insurance and does not provide the same type of protection. Instead, FEMA disaster assistance is intended to provide supplemental cash for emergency expenses, such as medical bills, temporary shelter, and other living expenses after a major flood. While it may be enough cover an emergency home repair, the cost of fully restoring your home after a flood is your responsibility. Furthermore, FEMA grants are only available if both the Governor and the President declare your region an official disaster area.
If you do not purchase flood insurance for your property, you can either use your own savings for the cleanup and construction costs, or you can take a low-interest loan from the Small Business Administration. Either way, you’ll be using your own money to cover the damages when you could have purchased NFIP flood coverage to pay the bill instead.
Applying for Coverage
If flood insurance is on your radar, do not wait to apply for coverage. Unlike homeowners insurance, NFIP flood insurance carries a 30-day waiting period for most applicants before coverage becomes effective. Certain exceptions may apply for individuals moving to a new home or people who live in regions that have been re-assessed as a higher-risk hazard area.
Minnesota Flood Insurance Quotes
If you live in or around the St. Paul or Virginia areas, flooding is a very real risk. We may not get many hurricanes here in Minnesota, but torrential rainfall and heavy snowmelt have happened before and are certain to happen again. To fully protect your home and personal property against flood damage, contact Krog Insurance for an NFIP coverage quote.
Although you must purchase this protection through an authorized insurance agent, both the coverage and the rates are the same no matter where you find it. That means we can offer the same affordable premiums – only with the premium customer service and ongoing support that you’ve come to expect from your local independent agent.
Other Water Damage
We also recommend reviewing your homeowners coverage for gaps in your water damage protection. While flood insurance covers groundwater, and home insurance may cover burst pipes, water damage caused by sewer backup or a sump pump overflow is excluded from standard coverage. We can show you how affordable and easy it is to protect your home with a water backup endorsement.
For more information about Minnesota water damage and flood insurance or to request your free quotes, contact our office today. We look forward to serving you soon.