Often flood insurance is thought of as an optional piece of insurance for your home unless your mortgage lender requires it because you live in a high-risk flood zone. However, if it is optional for you, flood insurance is something every Texas homeowner should consider because flood damage is not covered under your home or renters insurance policy.
Flooding is the #1 most significant and most devastating natural disaster to hit homeowners every year, making flood insurance even more critical. Let’s review five reasons why it’s important to have flood insurance as a homeowner, even if you don’t live in a flood zone.
Reason #1: Flooding Can Happen Anywhere
If you live in a 100-year flood zone, you know that your home has a 1% chance of flooding any given year, but floods can happen anywhere, and Houston alone has seen three 500-year floods. Most of the homes that flooded during Hurricane Harvey were outside of designated flood zones, and about 25% of flood damage claims every year are made by homeowners who live in a low-risk or moderate-risk areas. We can throw a bunch of statistics your way, but either way, you slice it wherever you live, you’re at risk of flooding.
Reason #2: You Can’t Afford To Pay For Flood Damage On Your Own
According to FEMA, just an inch of water can cause up to $25,000 in damage. A flood insurance policy is a worthy investment unless you have a few thousand to spare for flood damage. The average home value in Texas in 2021 for a single-family home is $250,000, and if your home floods, you’re likely to incur more damage to your home than what it’s worth.
On average, those who live inside flood zones pay anywhere between $600-$700 per year for a flood insurance policy, but if you live outside a flood zone, you’ll pay significantly less, on average less than $500 per year. Talk to a TGS Insurance agent and get a hassle-free flood insurance quote to see how much your policy could be.
Reason #3: Flood Water Can Damage Your Home In Several Different Ways
Water damage from floods can wreak havoc in your home, from mold to damaged floorboards and other structural problems to destroyed personal property, and even cause various health and safety risks such as diseases from standing water or contaminated drinking water.
Water moving at just ten mph can yield the same amount of pressure as wind that’s moving at 270 mph. Just six inches of fast-moving water can knock over an adult, and 12 inches can cause an entire car to drift away. Moving water = a powerful force that will damage anything in its path.
So maybe your area flooded, but the water never reached your home, but standing water did sit in your yard for a while. Did you know that can cause damage too? When water sits on your lawn for an extended period, your grass and plants can die from a lack of oxygen. Grass that’s been submerged for more than six days doesn’t have a great chance of surviving, especially if the weather is warm. And even if your lawn does survive the flood, sediment buildup can lead to algae, fungal diseases, moss growth, and a weed infestation.
So the long and the short of it, even if a flood doesn’t impact your home, your surrounding property could be.
Reason #4: There is Usually a Waiting Period for Coverage
Your home insurance policy will cover most water damage events, excluding a flood. Water damage is commonly caused by plumbing issues such as a backup from a toilet, overflowed appliance such as a washing machine or dishwasher, or a flooded air-conditioning unit- things of that nature.
Flood damage is categorized as water originating from a natural disaster, such as a hurricane or heavy rain event. This included flash flooding or prolonged roof leaks. Flash floods usually carry water that’s anywhere between 10-20 feet high and typically occur within hours of a raining event, dam or levee failure, or sudden release of water held by an ice or debris jam.
Flash floods leave little time for homeowners to prepare and are often caught off-guard. Like during Hurricane Harvey, most of the flood damage that homeowners incurred was due to broken levees and dam systems and not from the actual hurricane itself. Over 80% of homeowners who had damage to their homes during Hurricane Harvey did not have flood insurance.
Most flood insurance policies have a 30-day waiting period before they go into effect. So even if you bought flood insurance when there’s an impending storm (if the carrier didn’t stop writing policies temporarily), you’d still have to wait 14-30 days before your policy kicks in. Because flooding events can be so unpredictable, it’s best to have a flood insurance policy in place, so you’re prepared for the unexpected.
Reason #5: Flood Maps Can Be Outdated
FEMA is required to update flood maps every five years, but a lot can happen during that time, and the maps can quickly become outdated. This leads to some homes not being marked as the right risk level, giving a false sense of security to those who don’t want to buy because they “aren’t in a high or moderate risk” zone. New construction can spread the flood risk to more areas, and infrastructure developments like roads or highways can cause this. Think of it like sitting in a bathtub; new developments drive floods up because the water goes up.
Get The Right Flood Insurance Policy With TGS Insurance
If you live in a high-risk area, you need flood insurance, but even if you don’t, flood insurance is still a must-have layer of protection for any homeowner or renter. The risk of having flood insurance far outweighs the cost of not having a policy in place because it’s too expensive of a chance to take.
At TGS Insurance, we can help homeowners, and renters get a flood insurance policy that meets their coverage needs and budget. We shop for flood insurance policies through government-funded programs such as the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or private flood insurance companies like IAT Occidental, Neptune, etc.