Flooding risks, as well as the value of your home and your possessions, help determine whether the cost of flood insurance is worth it.
Damage caused by driving rain is usually covered under standard homeowners insurance policies. Homeowners insurance typically excludes damage resulting from seeping water, snow melt, rising bodies of water like lakes or rivers and any type of rising ground water.
Flood insurance can fill that gap in coverage, but before you invest in it, take an hour or two to review your current homeowners policy. Based on your home’s flooding risks and the value of your possessions, you might have enough protection already. If not, the cost of flood insurance averages $540 a year.
Homeowners can purchase coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program, so long as their communities participate. The program, part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will insure homes no matter the risk of flooding, though premiums will vary accordingly.
Items in your basement aren’t all covered. Building policies cover the structure and contents policies cover your furnace and appliances in the basement. But neither covers home finishes or personal possessions.
Start by assessing your home’s risk of flooding. Has your neighborhood flooded in the past? Homeowners can view FEME flood maps online.
Uncle Sam offers other assistance to homeowners who may become victims of flooding, in addition to flood insurance. The IRS will give some flood victims extra time to file returns and it may be possible to take tax deductions for flood losses. Read IRS Publication 547.
references: gwen moran, houselogic, nar, donsrealty.net