When you think of Arizona, the first words that come to mind are hot, dry, and sunny. But for those of us who live in Arizona, we know that the summer months also bring intense heavy rains. When these rains come, they can quickly become disastrous monsoons. It is almost completely impossible to predict where flooding will occur. Therefore, it is vital to ensure your home is covered should a natural disaster strike.
Unfortunately, many homeowners discover way too late that standard home insurance does not typically cover flood damage. Don’t let that be the case with your home. When dealing with the results of flood damage, the last thing you need is to be arguing with insurance agents or paying for replacements out of pocket. Coverage is essential, even if you aren’t in an area that has flooded in the past.
Continue reading to learn about what questions to ask when purchasing flood insurance.
What is flood insurance?
Flood insurance is financial coverage for losses due to water damage caused by flooding, whether by natural causes or large-scale infrastructure backups. A standard homeowners policy may cover certain items that are water damaged by plumbing issues or water leakage but will not cover flood damage. This is because homes in a flood zone are just too much of an expense risk for standard coverage.
Is my home in a flood zone?
Flood zones are determined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Flood Insurance Program. These entities keep an updated determination of whether an area has a high likelihood of flood risk and offer insurance rates at percentages based on that likelihood. If you are purchasing a home or land to build a house, your land will already have a determination. You can find this determination on a FEMA Flood Service Map. If you disagree with your results, you can also have a flood zone audit to confirm or change your status. It is a good idea to get a zone audit if one has not been conducted recently or if your area has had significant landscaping changes.
If your home falls under a certain flood zone risk, your mortgage company will require that you carry flood insurance.
What is covered under flood insurance?
Flood insurance covers an array of things related to the building itself and items inside your home. It is essential to note, though, that it does not cover every item. Therefore it is imperative that you read through your policy and take special notice of the items that are covered and the items that are not covered. This way, if you want to insure a specific uncovered item separately, you can do so. Items outside the home, such as pools and fences, are not typically covered. Additionally, items in basements, personal property appraised at high dollar amounts, and vehicles are not covered. In many cases, your car is insured under an auto policy, and you can purchase a specific personal property policy on top of your standard homeowner’s policy to cover these items.
How much will flood insurance cost me?
The cost of carrying flood insurance for your specific home is entirely determined based on its location. For instance, those whose homes have flooded in the past or are in special flood zone hazard areas will pay the highest cost for flood insurance. The average cost for flood insurance in Arizona is $778 a year or $65 a month. That number may be higher or lower based on your risk. For example, those who do not live near a flood zone but want peace of mind may pay as low as $200 a year. In any case, carrying flood insurance is a small price to pay, especially if you do find yourself needing to file a claim.
How do I choose an insurance company?
When it comes to flood insurance, all FEMA-backed policies have the same coverage; therefore, there is no need to shop around. But if you have additional items you would like to cover, or if you simply need help understanding your insurance policy, our team at Gebhardt is here for you. We are fully equipped to listen to your specific needs and give you an analysis of the best plans available to you for your auto, personal property, homeowners insurance, and more.
Don’t let yourself become part of the percentage of homeowners that get caught in monsoon season without the proper coverage, call us today.