Even as hurricane season begins to wind down, that doesn’t mean we will be seeing the rain or tides clear up in the Charleston area anytime soon. To help ease your questions or doubts if flood insurance is right for you, here are 5 of the top flood insurance myths, debunked.
Welcome back to the blog! We are thrilled that you are wanting to continue your education about the world of insurance and that you want to learn more, in particular, about flood insurance. We’re sure you’ve heard time and time again that you should be considering or looking into purchasing flood insurance, and being an insurance company ourselves, we do agree with this sentiment. Sure, here in the Lowcountry, you’ll be hearing this much more often than you would in most other places. With three popular beaches, at least two main rivers, and countless creeks, this just comes with the territory. If your home is on or near the ocean or the rivers here in the Lowcountry, it should come as no surprise that you should already have flood insurance purchased and in place. If not, then please know we are concerned and we want to speak with you right away.
However, for a lot of residents whose neighborhoods or areas around their homes have never seen flooding, it might be hard to justify this extra expense. Remember what we talked about it on our last blog. Hurricanes and their powerful and dangerous effects are moving farther and farther inland and becoming more disastrous in places that haven’t seen these effects before. Still not totally convinced? Then let some good old fashioned debunking help you think otherwise. Here are 5 of the most common flood insurance myths debunked and the actual facts behind the myth.
Myth #1: You can only buy flood insurance if you own a home.
Reality: This is very false! You can buy flood insurance if you’re renting, for an apartment, for a condo, for your business, and more! As a renter you’ll want this insurance to protect your belongings inside the space you’re renting. If you are wanting to protect your business and everything you use to operate and run it in a rented building, then flood insurance is also available to you, and should it be an option you’re looking into if you don’t already have it.
Myth #2: Flood insurance is already included in my homeowner’s insurance policy!
Reality: According to FEMA, most homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover flood damage. It might cover small damages done by water, but not by floods themselves. If your pipes burst or leak or your toilet falls through the ceiling because of water damage, then your insurance will cover these things. If a hurricane comes through and leaves two feet of water in your living room, that will not be covered. Many policyholders find out far too late that their policy doesn’t cover flooding. When do they find out? When their home is already flooded and there is nothing they can do. We encourage you not to make this mistake! Please chat with us or your insurance agent and find out how much water damage or flood damage your insurance is currently covering. If you want more coverage, invest in it now. If you don’t have any coverage at all, it might be wise to look into some before it’s too late.
Myth #3: I only need to buy flood insurance if I live in a high flood area!
Reality: Every home is at risk of flooding, even if you live in a low-risk or moderate risk area. According to FEMA, it is more likely for a home to experience flooding in 30 years than a fire. Also, over 20% of flood claims are made from homes that were not in high-risk areas.
Myth #4: I should wait until the storm season to buy flood insurance.
Reality: Most people who don’t have flood insurance only start thinking about buying or consider buying it when a bad storm is coming or their home has already been flooded. Why wait until it’s too late to make such an important choice? Also, flood insurance policies take up to 30 days before they go into effect. This makes waiting until you’re very close to storm season even more risky and stressful. Begin planning and purchasing in the dryer season when you’re less likely to think about it. If you do, you’ll be thanking yourself during the times you would normally begin to panic!
Myth #5: If my home floods, Government assistance will take care of all the repairs!
Reality: To get governmental assistance after a flood, the flood has to be declared a federal disaster by the president. According to FEMA, less than half of all floods are declared disasters. Even in the case that a flood is declared a disaster, most people will only receive between $5000 and $7000 in financial help. This most often comes in the form of a low-interest disaster loan that must be paid back. Financial assistance that comes from your insurance policy does not need to be repaid, and you can get upwards to $100,000 if not more in assistance. We urge you not to rely on FEMA or other disaster relief programs when it comes to flooding. You will most likely get hardly enough in assistance to cover your basic needs!
Are you feeling a little more swayed after this list? Please know that these are just some of the common myths. There are many others out there still left to be debunked and replaced with facts that lean towards the many reasons why you should seriously think about purchasing flood insurance. If you have any questions about this or would like to discuss flood insurance policies with us, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We want to make sure that you’re covered and safe before it’s too late!