If it rains where you live, it can flood, too. Due to the high cost of flood damage, homeowners insurance generally excludes water damages caused by rising groundwater. Unless you have an active flood insurance policy in place prior to the flood, you could face tens of thousands of dollars or more in out-of-pocket losses. Here in central and western Wisconsin, the threat of flooding looms nearly year-round, whether due to rain or melting snow. Even a drought can lead to flooding, as the dry ground is unable to absorb the water.
You may not be able to control the elements of weather, but when you partner with an independent agent at Burstad Insurance, you can prepare for the worst with a flood insurance policy designed to protect you when you need it most.
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
In 1968, the federal government initiated the National Flood Insurance Program to provide financial protection for people who lived in areas deemed a moderate to high risk of flooding. Today, the NFIP is the primary source of flood insurance in the United States, as the potential for costly mass flood damage is too much risk for private insurers to take on. The program is overseen by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which assesses geographical risks and determines the cost of flood insurance premiums per household based on that data.
Types of NFIP Coverage
There are two primary types of coverage available from the National Flood Insurance Program. These include structural damages and personal property damages. The maximum available coverage for structural damages is $250,000. This is the most the NFIP will insure a home for, including the cost to rebuild or repair it. The maximum available coverage for property damages is $100,000. This is the most the NFIP will reimburse to policy-holders for the loss of personal belongings.
If these limits are too low to adequately protect your home and property against flooding, there may be supplemental coverage solutions available on the private market. Talk to an agent here at Burstad Insurance for help determining how much coverage you may need in the event of a flood-related loss.
Disaster Assistance is Not Enough
There are misconceptions about floods and the types of aid available after these types of events. While it is true that FEMA can provide disaster assistance to affected households, the type and amount of assistance available is typically very limited and designed to help with emergency living expenses and cleanup – not the cost of rebuilding a home and replacing its contents. Even then, FEMA assistance is generally only available when there has been a government disaster declaration in the county of an affected home. Without flood insurance, homeowners must absorb the losses out-of-pocket. They can often find federal loans to help with the cost of rebuilding, but they must still be repaid, and usually with interest.
Are You at Risk?
FEMA has a flood map search tool that helps homeowners and renters determine their potential risk of flood damage. The flood zones on the map change from time to time, especially as land development alters the natural flow and accumulation of water.
Some areas have such a high risk of flooding that NFIP flood insurance is required – not optional. In other less risky areas, the coverage may not be required, but you could be gambling with your real estate investment and assets by going without it. Often, people who face major losses in a flood are the ones who claim to have never seen groundwater or flooding in their area before. Occasionally, there are ‘100-year floods’ that cause flooding of epic proportions in both low and high-risk areas, ultimately leaving exorbitant amounts of damages in their wake. In fact, an estimated one in four flood damage claims is made by low and moderate-risk households.
The costs can add up quickly. Even just a couple inches of standing water can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damages. Could you afford to replace your drywall, flooring, baseboards, cabinetry, electronics, furniture, rugs, and other damaged items? What about the cost to clean up and remove mold after the flood? Even if you have never experienced a flood in your area, you may still need flood insurance to protect your home and your belongings against damage or loss.
Request a Free Wisconsin Flood Insurance Quote
So long as you live in a community that participates in the NFIP, you can purchase flood insurance, regardless of your risks. Although you cannot purchase flood insurance directly from FEMA, you can access it through an independent agent at one of our many locations throughout central and western Wisconsin.
We offer flood insurance as stand-alone coverage that is separate from your homeowners or renters policy. We can assess your potential flood risks, as well as help you cover your home and property against other types of water damages, such as from a water and sewer backup or burst pipes.
Whether you need coverage for your home and contents or for your belongings only, we can help you get a quote for the flood protection you need. Keep in mind that most flood insurance policies issued by the NFIP require a 30-day waiting period before coverage becomes active. There may be exceptions if you recently purchased your home or if you were recently notified of a change in your flood risk.
Call us today to find out more about Wisconsin flood insurance and how you can better protect yourself and your household against risk. We look forward to serving you soon.