Why Home Insurance Quotes Don’t Say Anything About Flooding

Why Home Insurance Quotes Don’t Say Anything About Flooding – Everyone’s jumping for joy as spring finally decides to start thinking about making an appearance-except for people living near a flood plain. They’re counting down the days until the next time they have to bail out their basement! Unfortunately, they’re going to be doing it on their own. Here’s a look at why home insurance quotes don’t say anything about flooding, and what you can do to keep from being washed away.
The problem is that most insurers hand out home insurance quotes and issue policies to multiple homes in a single neighborhood. So you, your neighbor, your neighbor’s neighbor and thirty other houses over a six block radius could all be covered by the same insurance carrier. Since floods don’t have the good manners to count the number of houses they’re wiping out, insurance companies could rack up millions of dollars in claims in a single afternoon.
Just look at Hurricane Katrina.
With that in mind, it’s easy to understand why flood coverage isn’t standard issue with most home insurance quotes. Don’t confuse water damage with flooding. Damage from a burst pipe will often be covered, but rainwater seeping into your foundation will not. If you live in a low-risk area you may have the option to add flood insurance to your current policy for an additional fee. If you’re in a high risk area, or your current carrier doesn’t offer it, you may have to look elsewhere to keep your home from being swept away.
If you live in one of the 19,000 communities that participate in the National Flood Insurance Program you may be able to purchase flood insurance through the government; however, the premiums are stiff. You could find yourself paying an extra $500 a year (or more) to protect your home. If you live in a low-risk area, it usually isn’t worth it.
Since home insurance quotes don’t include flood damage, there are things you can do to keep your house safe. Keep your gutters clean. Studies show that clogged gutters courtesy of sticks, leaves and other miscellaneous debris is the number one cause of basement flooding.
Be sure your downspouts (the tubes connected to your gutters) are pointing away from the house and deposit water at least 2-3 feet away from your foundation. Plant gardens in the yard, not against the side of the house, as gardens retain water that will seep straight into your walls. Your home’s grading should slope down at least six inches after the first four feet to facilitate drainage. If your grading needs work, use clean fill dirt rather than topsoil to create a slope.
When it comes to flooding, an ounce of prevention is worth tens of thousands of dollars worth of cure that isn’t going to be included in any of your home insurance quotes.