Do I Need Flood Insurance?

Homeowners’ insurance covers repairs your home needs after many types of natural disasters have damaged it. Most insurance covers damage caused by snow, ice, wind, hail, or lightning. However, most homeowner’s¬†policies do not cover damage caused by flooding. To be insured for floods caused by rainstorms or other natural disasters, you must purchase a flood insurance policy.

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Does Renters Insurance Cover Floods?

Renters insurance does not cover damage to personal property caused by floods. The good news is your renter’s policy does cover water damage from overflowing plumbing or appliances.

When Flood Insurance Is Required

Your lender may require you purchase flood insurance. The Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA states that lenders must require their borrowers to purchase flood insurance if the company is federally regulated or insured. The home is located within a high-risk flood area. High-risk flood areas are locations that have a 1 percent chance of flooding every year. Some private lenders will also require flood insurance before they will approve borrowers for a home loan.

When Flood Insurance Is Recommended

If your home is in an area that has been designated as a high-risk flood area, insurers recommend that you purchase flood insurance. These are areas that have less than a 1 percent chance of flooding every year. If your house isn’t near water, the possibility of a flood may still exist. You may live near a creek or a pond that can overflow and flood your property. If you live near a hill, stormwater may cause a flood in your home.

How To Know If You’re in a Flood Zone

If your house is near a body of water, you may be in a high-risk flood zone. Even if you don’t see have a body of water nearby, you may be in a floodplain or an area that doesn’t have adequate storm drainage during a flood. To find out your flood hazard and risk, check the FEMA Flood Map Service Center. Determine your flood risk by examining the map on this website. Locations in Zones B, C, and X are designated as the lowest risk for flooding. The V Zones exist along the coast, and they have the highest risk. The A Zones also carry a high risk of flooding.

You can find out your home’s risk of flooding in other ways as well. For example, if you perform a title search, you can learn your flood risk, but you can also ask your real estate agent if you are in a high flood risk location or near a flood plain.

The National Flood Insurance Program or NFIP

FEMA runs the flood insurance program known as “NFIP,” It offers flood insurance policies that the federal government underwrites. Private insurance companies also sell these policies. You may be able to purchase a policy through the NFIP that covers the structure of your home for up to $250,000. It can cover personal belongings of up to $100,000. These policies will offer you the replacement cost so that you can rebuild your home as it was before the flood. Your belongings may be subject to depreciation compared to the current cost, so be sure to find out the details.

If you purchase flood insurance through the NFIP, you will receive a federal government subsidizes policy. The average NFIP insurance policy costs $700 per year, but policy costs will vary based on your location’s flood risk. If you are in a high-risk area, your premium could be as high as $6,000 per year.

Flood Insurance from a Private Insurer

You may also purchase a flood insurance policy from a private insurer. A private insurance agent may offer coverage at higher levels than are available with NFIP. You can also purchase an excess flood insurance policy if you would like to augment a policy you purchase from the NFIP. If your area does not participate in the NFIP, or you obtain your flood insurance from a private company, you can purchase excess flood insurance as well. You are entitled to purchase this extra coverage even if you are living in a high-risk area.

The Cost of Flood Insurance

When you purchase a flood insurance policy from a private insurer, it’s a good idea to get quotes from several insurance companies. This allows you to find the best coverage for the best price.

If you are purchasing your flood insurance through the NFIP, the premiums vary based on several factors, including:

  • The year you built your home
  • The number of rooms in the home
  • The number of floors
  • The location of your belongings
  • The area’s flood risk
  • The location of your first level in relation to the Base Floor Elevation

Reducing Your Flood Insurance Premiums

Anything that you can do to minimize the damage caused by flooding on your property will be something that may reduce your flood insurance premiums. The following ideas are things you can do right now with this objective in mind:

  • A surveyor or engineer prepares elevation certificates. Your surveyor or engineer will inspect your home and determine where the lowest floor elevation in your house lies. If it is above expected inundation levels, your surveyor or engineer will be able to provide you with a certificate that you can present to your insurance company. This is one way that you can lower your flood insurance premiums.
  • It is also a good idea to elevate your electric panel, water heater, and your HVAC unit so that they are less likely to be damaged in flood.
  • Good maintenance requires that you keep your storm drains and gutters clean. In addition to that, installing one-way valves can prevent water from flooding your drains.
  • Basement walls that have been sealed also encourage insurers to offer you lower premiums as well as waterproofing your materials.
  • Ensure that you keep your important documents and valuable items on higher floors or in the attic of your home.

Having Flood Insurance in a Low-Risk Area

If you are in a low-risk flood area, you may not think purchasing flood insurance is worthwhile. Keep in mind that flood damage is often catastrophic, significant, and costly.

Most Flood Policies Have a 30-Day Waiting Period.

Don’t wait to purchase a flood insurance policy because there is a 30-day waiting period before flood insurance becomes active in most cases.

Total Restoration of Texas can be at most Austin-area locations in under 1-hour. We have emergency service available 24-hours a day, 7-days a week.

Extremely professional with honest and helpful feedback. Highly recommended!
Daniel G.
They can out right away fixed the water problem and called me with a estimate of the repairs before they started the work. Would recommend due to the quick...
Anthony D.
These guys were awesome! Came out immediately upon our flood and did the needed demo/cleanup.Jason, the owner has been amazing throughout the entire process and Kylie, the office manager was wonderful, kind and always quick to respond. I hope not to have to use again :) but would definitely recommend. 10 out of 10!
Meghan M.
These guys were awesome! Came out immediately upon our flood and did the needed demo/cleanup.Jason, the owner has been amazing throughout the entire...
Meghan D.
Ryan was great adressing our concerns. We'd hire him again and recommend to friends and family.
Evelyn V.
I had a pretty sizable leak coming from my primary bathroom upstairs and dripping down into my downstairs living room. I called a few companies, and had...
Brian R.
Total Restoration responded very quickly to our situation. We had a broken water line to a water heater that had been running all night in our guest house. Within and hour - we live outside of the Austin area -of my call Ryan evaluated the situation and called for reinforcements. Great communication on every level, and Kylie helped me deal with the insurance company. Hope to never have to use them again, but would in heartbeat if necessary. Highly, recommend!
Catherine C.
Total restoration did a great job on our home. They did prioritize based on the home condition unlike other services. They were fast and very professional...
Veena D.
During the Feb '21 winter freeze, a cap blew off of a pipe in the middle of the night. Within an hour, I awoke to flooding throughout my entire house. I called more water mitigation companies than I can count and ended up on 12 waitlists. Once roads opened up, Total Restoration of Texas was the first company who had the means and the equipment to help. All the others were short-staffed and under-equipped to fill the enormous needs of our community. I got a 9:30 pm text from Kylie, the office manager. She apologized for the late contact and asked if I still need help. (Ummm... Yes, please!) Ryan was out the next day. He managed all of the water mitigation. From the inspection to the demo to the dry out, he was there. They all had to be working 80 hours/week, and they did it all with a smile. Then came insurance. Whew! Kylie handled most of it and let me know when I needed to step in. Boy, she sure knows the ropes when it comes to dealing with insurance! I hope I never have to go through this again, but if I do, Total Restoration of Texas will be the first people I call. They are professional, they took care of my home and belongings, and they took care of me when I needed help with my insurance company. Thank you!
Pamela T.
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  • Content Inventory, Cleaning, and Storage
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We restore flood-damaged homes and offices in these Austin-area communities:

  • Austin
  • Bee Cave
  • Buda
  • Cedar Park
  • Georgetown
  • Kyle
  • Lakeway
  • Leander
  • Lockhart
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  • Pflugerville
  • Rollingwood
  • Round Rock
  • San Marcos
  • Sunset Valley
  • West Lake Hills

Water damage? Let us handle the mess.

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