Is Flood Insurance Worth It?


A lot of water in the right place is a great thing. The ocean, a lake, a swimming pool. Those are enjoyable places to take refuge in. But, what happens when a large amount of water goes where it doesn’t belong? Things can get bad real fast. Water can wreak havoc on a property—often with catastrophic implications.

Consider the rain we’ve had in Southern California this year, with the likelihood that more is on the way. If you’re in an area that’s considered low or moderate risk for flooding, you may be asking yourself if you need to carry flood insurance. But as we’ve seen already this year, rain can be unpredictable and flooding isn’t limited to high-risk flood zones. It’s also worth mentioning, flood damage isn’t limited to mother nature. Water main ruptures, failed dams and other manmade aquatic disasters can contribute significant flood damage to your property.

Floods are the most common form of natural disaster in the United States. Even if the chance is remote, your home or business could be affected. According to the National Flood Insurance Program, between 2011 and 2015 the average flood claim was more than $46,000. While many of those claims occurred in flood plains and high-risk areas where property owners are required to carry flood insurance, more than 20-percent of claims to the NFIP were made by people outside of high-risk areas. And that figure only accounts for those who had insurance in the first place. The fact is, floods can and do occur anywhere.

Regular property insurance, whether it is homeowner’s, renter’s, or commercial property insurance, does not cover damage from floods. This means if your real estate or personal property is damaged by rising waters from a river, lake, broken water main, etc., you won’t get any compensation from your regular policy. To be covered, you must purchase separate flood insurance.

Sometimes we see the government coming to the rescue of citizens in flooded communities, but only half of all flooding events are declared federal disasters. Without that declaration, flood victims are unable to obtain financial aid from the government to repair the damage. And even when some are fortunate to get government aid, help most often comes in the form of loans that must be paid back.

At Stearns and Co., we strongly recommend you consider the overall worth of your property, possessions, and the potential loss due to flood. Even a low level of floodwater can cause expensive damage. In low-risk areas, the cost of coverage can be quite inexpensive, and certainly worth the peace of mind it will bring you. Not to mention, potentially save you from thousands of dollars in property damages.

A knowledgeable agent can help you determine if the limits and provisions of federally available flood insurance are sufficient, or if you should consider supplemental coverage to ensure that the full value of your goods and property are covered. The experts at Stearns and Co. insurance brokerage can evaluate your needs, lay out your options, and get you the coverage you need to protect your most valuable assets. Contact us today to get started.