Floods can happen anywhere; yes, even in the desert. For example, monsoons and heavy rains can cause flash flooding that poses a hazard to property owners in the valleys throughout the Mesa area. Even an inch of standing water is enough to ravage a home and cause tens of thousands of dollars in destruction. If groundwater catches you by surprise, how will you pay for the damages?
Arizona homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage, regardless of whether you live in a low, moderate, or high-risk area. If you wish to protect your home against the financial devastation of a flood, you’ll need a designated flood insurance policy through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
The NFIP began in 1968 as a means of allowing private property owners to purchase government-backed flood insurance protection. Since that time, home owners and renters in moderate and high-risk flood hazard areas have been able to purchase insurance that may not have otherwise been accessible. Today, the program is overseen by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and its coverage is only sold through authorized insurance agents, including right here at Jarosch Insurance.
Types of NFIP Flood Protection
There are two types of flood protection offered through the National Flood Insurance Program. The first is personal property coverage, which is available to both renters and property owners. This coverage compensates you for up to $100,000 in actual cash value for personal items damaged in a flood.
The other NFIP coverage type is for the structure of your home or other private property. This protection only goes up to $250,000 in coverage, but it pays for the full cost of rebuilding or repairing your home after a flood and restoring it to its pre-flood condition. Although many homeowners find this coverage to be adequate, some may need additional protection for high-value properties. Talk to your agent to find out if you may qualify for supplemental flood protection from a private insurer.
Do You Need Flood Insurance?
Flood insurance is essential if you are under federal obligation to have coverage or if your mortgage lender requires it per the terms of your contract. However, flood risks exist everywhere, which is why most property owners and renters can benefit from flood insurance protection.
Would you go a day in your home with fire insurance? Of course not. Then you might be surprised to learn that your home is 27 times more likely to flood during the life of your 30-year mortgage than it is to catch on fire. Furthermore, it’s not just the high-risk homes that need protection. Data shows that one in four flooded homes exists within an area that is labeled ‘low-risk.’ To find out your local flood risk, type your address or home coordinates into FEMA’s flood map search tool.
Disaster Assistance vs. Flood Insurance
It may be tempting to forego flood insurance if you live in a low-risk area since disaster aid is often available following a major flood. Of course, disaster assistance is never guaranteed, and it is usually far too little to meet your needs after a disaster.
For example, FEMA has the power to issue grants if the President declares your area a federal disaster area. However, the grants are intended for temporary living expenses and other disaster-related emergency costs, such as medical bills and funeral expenses. Although FEMA grants do not need to be repaid, they are not meant for the restoration of your home. Flood insurance, on the other hand, pays benefits even if there is no disaster declaration. Furthermore, you can purchase flood protection and still qualify for federal aid if it becomes available.
Without flood insurance, the damages to your home become your responsibility. You can either take money from your savings to cover the repairs, or you may be able to borrow money with a low-interest loan from the Small Business Administration (SBA). However, even SBA loans must be repaid, which can still set you back tens of thousands of dollars over time.
Applying for Coverage
Don’t wait until the next monsoon is approaching to apply for flood insurance. The National Flood Insurance Program imposes a 30-day waiting period on most new policies, meaning you will wait about a month before coverage goes into effect. There are certain exceptions to that rule, but they are generally reserved for applicants who live in newly designated high-risk flood zones or property owners who are obtaining a new mortgage.
Mesa Flood Insurance Quotes
If you need flood insurance in Mesa, contact our office to request your free quotes. Premiums are typically dependent on your risk factors, including your home’s elevation level and how much coverage you need. Generally, policy-holders in low-risk areas pay less than those who live in high-risk zones.
NFIP insurance includes the same coverage and rates no matter where you purchase it, but with Jarosch Insurance, you also get personalized support, help with claims, and the guidance of an independent agent who has been delivering quality insurance solutions to homeowners and property owners since 1977.
Other Water Damage Protection
Your homeowners insurance may cover burst pipes, and your flood insurance takes care of your groundwater risks, but what about sewer line backups and sump pump overflows? These narrow risks can cause tremendous damage to your home and cost thousands in repairs and clean-up costs without the right coverage. We are happy to evaluate your homeowners coverage and help you add water backup coverage to your policy with a simple and affordable endorsement.
For more information about Arizona flood insurance and coverage for other types of water damage, contact our office today. We look forward to serving you soon.