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Water Damage and Flood Insurance: Are You Covered?

The start of hurricane season is just around the corner, so it’s important that you are proactively protecting your home against water and flood damage. The Loken Group consulted JJ Serrano with Priority Insurance Agency, LLC to find out everything you need to know regarding what isn’t covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy, the important difference between flood and water damage, and the cost to protect your home and personal property.

1. Is flood damage included in my homeowner’s policy?

Most people would assume that it is, but unfortunately, flood damage is not typically covered by homeowner’s insurance. To get coverage, you may be able to purchase a separate flood policy through the federal government’s Nation Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

2. Is personal property coverage included with my flood insurance?

Personal property coverage does not come automatically included with your flood insurance; however, you can purchase coverage to help protect your home, personal belongings, or both. Personal property coverage has a maximum coverage limit of $100,000 and may help protect your clothing, furniture and electronics, curtains, some portable appliances, freezers and the foods within them, and certain valuables like art (up to a specified limit).

3. What is the difference between water damage and flood damage?

The main difference between flood damage and water damage is where the water comes from (flood water comes from a natural source) and if two or more properties are involved (if you reside in a generally residential versus rural area). In a water damage loss, the accident or loss occurred inside the home, meaning the water came from inside the dwelling, and occurs before water comes in contact with the ground. Examples of water damage would include an upstairs pipe bursting and water saturating the ceiling below, or a toilet overflowing soaking your bathroom floorboards. If you and your neighbors are having issues due to heavy rain and/or rising waters, coming in from the exterior of your home, then you are likely dealing with a flood insurance claim.

4. What is a flood zone and how much does flood insurance usually cost?

Flood zones are geographical locations determined by FEMA based on various risk factors. In Houston, you will typically find most homeowners fall under the AE flood zone, which means you can find a premium under $500 that will cover up to $250,000 off your dwelling and $100,000 of your personal content. If you do not fall in that flood zone, the premium will vary depending on the flood risk.