A common misconception is that unless you live in a designated flood zone you don’t need or can’t get flood insurance. This is not true. Specially in Florida, with so many low-lying areas, heavy rains, and the constant threat of hurricanes, flood insurance is just as important as your standard Homeowners Insurance policy.

So why doesn’t your Homeowners Insurance policy include flood protection? Think of your Homeowners policy as a “generic” or basic option. This allows you to pick and choose any coverages you may need (like a flood policy), thereby keeping costs down and not making you pay for unwanted coverage.

Homeowners Insurance alone will often be enough if the flooding or water damage in your home is a result of a leaky roof or broken window due to a storm. If the flooding rises from “underneath,” however, as is the case with overflowing bodies of water or from water backing up due to a broken pump, you are only covered if you have a Flood Policy.

What does a Flood Insurance policy cover? Depending on the type of coverage and the limits you choose, Flood Insurance generally covers:

  • Physical structure of your home and its foundation
  • Plumbing and electrical systems
  • Central air and heating systems
  • Attached bookcases
  • Cabinets and paneling
  • Detached garage
  • Some personal possessions such as clothing, furniture, electronics, etc.

The maximum coverage limit for the physical structure of your home is $250,000 and $100,000 for personal possessions under the federal program. There is also the option to purchase an “excess flood insurance” policy that would cover any claims you may have above these limits.

With Flood Insurance, there is a 30-day waiting period so you don’t want to wait for that hurricane warning in order to purchase. Talking with an agent ahead of time and exploring all your options will save you time and money and give you peace of mind should your home sustain damage from a flood.