A serious flood can leave you with thousands of dollars worth of damage to your home. Matters will be even worse for you if your home experiences flood damage and you don't have flood insurance, which isn't always automatically included in standard home insurance coverage. You would expect many people to have additional or separate coverage for flood damage, but this isn't always the case. Here are some of the reasons many homeowners don't have flood coverage:
Many People Don't Know They Live In Flood Plains
Not all flood zones are flood prone. It might take several years for a flood zone to experience an actual flood, but this doesn't mean that you are safe. This means many people have been living without flood damage for some time and don't know they are in flood zones, which means they haven't seen the need for flood insurance.
If this is what is keeping you from buying flood insurance, then the issue should be easy to resolve. You can check with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), your local government, or even with your insurance company to determine whether you live in a flood zone and require flood insurance.
The Coverage Is Not Always Required
While the decision on whether you need flood insurance isn't always up to a homeowner, this is only true in flood zones. If you live in a flood area and are still paying your mortgage, the lender will require you to buy flood insurance to protect their investment. However, nobody will force you to have flood insurance if you own your home outright (such as if you have cleared the mortgage, bought the home in cash, inherited the house, or received it as a gift).
However, you shouldn't avoid flood insurance coverage just because you haven't been forced to do it. Whether or not you are forced to purchase the coverage, the protection it offers you is real. A single flood can wipe out your whole life's savings; flood insurance can prevent that from happening.
A False Sense of Security
Some people also think they are relatively safe because they haven't experienced floods in the recent past. Maybe they live in flood zones that they think were wrongly designated as such or they live on the fringe of flood zones and believe they are safe.
When it comes to floods, it's best to err on the side of caution and purchase flood insurance even if you believe you are relatively safe. That small risk of flooding will turn into serious damage if it actually occurs, and you can't be certain that it won't occur given how temperamental and unpredictable the recent climate has been.
For more information about flood insurance, contact your local home insurance companies.