Debunking Myths About Flood Insurance

May 16, 2024 2 min read

If you don’t live near a body of water, you may think you don’t need flood insurance, or you may be wondering if you should get flood insurance if you’re not in a flood zone. However, consider the cost of flooding: just one inch of standing water can cost over $25,000 in repairs and restoration. And it’s not just hurricanes, high tides and rising rivers that cause flooding. Heavy rain, or even constant rain for days, can lead to floods.

While 27 percent of Americans with homeowners insurance reported having flood insurance, people who live outside of high-risk areas file more than 25% of flood claims and receive 33% of disaster assistance payouts, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Here are some common myths that lead people to think they don’t need flood insurance for their home. If you find you’re one of these people, you may want to reconsider getting flood insurance. 

Myth 1: My Homeowners Insurance Will Cover Me

If you have homeowners insurance, you may think it covers your property for damage from a flood, but floods are usually not covered by these insurance policies. Check your policy or ask your agent if you’re covered for flooding. You might need to buy a separate flood insurance policy, so you have the coverage you need.

Myth 2: I Don’t Live in a Flood Zone, So I’m Safe From Flooding

If you don’t live near a large body of water, you may think you’re safe from flood damage. However, flooding can happen anywhere and can be caused by things like snow melt, torrential rains or other factors. 

Once water makes its way into your home, it only takes a small amount of water to do a lot of expensive damage. Water can buckle your roof or floors, crack your foundation and destroy your  appliances and furniture. Mold and mildew can start to grow within 24 to 48 hours.

Myth 3: I’ll Be Covered by Federal Flood Assistance

Before you can receive state or federal flood assistance, your area will need to be declared a disaster area by your state’s governor or the president. According to FEMA, not all flood events receive a disaster declaration.  

Even with a natural disaster declaration, assistance isn’t guaranteed. And, if you qualify for assistance, it’s usually in the form of a loan that you need to repay with interest.

It’s usually not a good idea to count on state or federal assistance. Can you get flood insurance in a flood zone? Generally, yes. You can get flood insurance if you live in an area covered by the National Flood Insurance Program

The smart option is to purchase coverage well before flooding occurs. Don’t wait until a storm is in the forecast. Most of the time, you need to have a policy in place at least 30 days before a flooding event.

Myth 4: Flood Insurance Won’t Cover My Belongings

What does flood insurance cover? While not everything may be covered by flood insurance, flood insurance typically covers your home’s structure and essential equipment. That means, in most cases, flood insurance covers things like sump pumps, HVAC systems, appliances, water heaters, electrical elements like circuit breakers and other foundational elements. 

What does flood insurance not cover? Flood insurance typically won’t cover water damage that’s not caused by flooding. For example, a sewer backup likely wouldn’t be covered. Flood insurance also generally doesn’t cover damage to landscaping, pools or hot tubs, cash and jewelry.

Myth 5: My Auto Insurance Will Cover Vehicle Flooding

Did you drive through rising water and think the damages would be covered by your auto insurance? They might be — if you have comprehensive coverage. Your agent can check your coverage details and let you know. 

However, it’s better to be on the safe side and avoid the dangers of rising water on the roadway. If you think your road may be flooded, choose another route and stay safe. It’s hard to estimate how deep water is on a road, and it’s dangerous to drive through moving water or water that’s more than four inches deep.

Flood Protection That’s Right for You

Flooding can be both dangerous and expensive to clean up. If you’re eligible, consider buying flood insurance to supplement your homeowners insurance. 

Schedule a SuperCheck® with your Farm Bureau agent today to evaluate the insurance coverage you have and make sure your home and your family are protected.

Want to learn more?

Contact a local FBFS agent or advisor for answers personalized to you.