Determining Whether You Need A Flood Rider on Your Homeowner’s Insurance

Every homeowner has unique wants and needs, and your homeowner’s insurance policy is never one-size fits-all either. So, it’s important to know your particular needs. Typically, your homeowner’s insurance policy will not include flood insurance, though many homeowners will need it in order to protect their properties. Below, we’ll take a look at three questions that will help you know whether flood insurance is a worthwhile addition to your homeowner’s insurance.

Is Your Home Located in a Floodplain?

Many people don’t realize it, but floods are the nation’s costliest natural disasters. That’s why homeowners who live in areas designated by the government as floodplains are usually required to have flood insurance. Even if your insurance carrier doesn’t require it, though, it’s probably a good investment. The average cost of flood insurance is $660 per year, which is much cheaper than replacing your furniture and other belongings in the case of a flood. You can learn whether your home is in a designated floodplain by visiting the FEMA Flood Map Service Center, where you can search your address.

Are You Living in a Former Floodplain?

Geography can change fairly drastically in a short time, which means many people find themselves living in areas that were formerly designated as floodplains. While the removal of floodplain status can certainly make you feel more comfortable, there are no guarantees that flooding won’t happen again. In this instance, it’s wise to balance the cost of flood insurance against the level of risk you’re personally comfortable with.

Does Your Neighborhood Have a History of Flooding?

Even if you’re asking the above questions, you could still be at risk of flood damage. Not all geographic areas that experience floods meet the requirements to become a federally designated floodplain. So, while the FEMA site linked above is helpful, it’s not necessarily the full picture. If you’re unsure whether flooding has ever taken place at or near your home, do some research by talking first-hand with your realtor or with neighbors who have been living in the area for a long time.

Understanding whether to add flood insurance to your homeowner’s insurance policy requires thought and a bit of research. Use the questions above to help you determine if flood coverage is important for you.

Image via Unsplash/Erik Witsoe