If you live in a 100-year floodplain and have a mortgage, you don’t have to wonder if you need flood insurance - it’s required as a condition of your loan.
If flood insurance is not required as a condition of your mortgage, you’re not obligated to carry it. However, there are a few things that you should know:
• Flooding can happen anywhere and anytime.
• Even a minimal amount of flooding can have disastrous financial consequences. According to the National Flood Insurance Program, one foot of water can cause $27,150 of damage to a 1,000 square foot home, and the average flood claim is more than $38,000.
• If you think a regular home hazard insurance policy covers losses caused by a flood or heavy rains, think again. You need a separate flood insurance policy to cover flood damage caused by a storm, hurricane, heavy rain or ineffective levee.
• No matter how well you plan for a flood, the costs may be more than you anticipate. If you are not on solid financial footing with money set aside for emergencies, it may be better to get coverage. Flood policies in moderate- to low-risk areas could cost less than your monthly cellphone bill, and could save you a bundle if your home sustains damage.