If it can rain, it can flood. And your home insurance policy doesn’t cover flood damage. To make sure your property is covered, you’ll need a separate flood policy.
If your home is in a designated flood zone, your lender requires you to have flood insurance. A flood zone is an area that has a 1 percent chance of being flooded in any given year.
But floods can happen anywhere. More than half of homes flooded by Hurricane Harvey were outside of designated flood zones.
Texas is particularly prone to floods, especially in two large parts of the state: the coast and a wide band called Flash Flood Alley that extends through Central and North Texas. Almost every major city in Texas is in an area at high risk of flooding.
Flood maps are difficult to keep up to date because growth can add to flood risk. Prairies and pasture absorb excess rainfall from storms. When those lands are replaced by concrete and asphalt, it can put areas that never flooded before at risk.
Talk to your home insurance agent about getting a flood policy from the National Flood Insurance Program.
What it costs
The average flood policy costs about $700 a year. The cost will vary depending on your flood risk, the value of your home, and the amount of your deductible, among other factors. Typically, for homes that are not in a flood zone, a flood policy can be very affordable.
A flood insurance policy will cover your home up to $250,000. You’ll need a separate flood policy for your personal belongings, which provides coverage up to $100,000.
There’s a wait
Most flood policies have a 30-day waiting period before kicking in so don’t wait for an approaching storm before deciding to buy coverage.
- Use FEMA’s Historical Flood Risk and Cost data to help evaluate the flood risk in your area.
- Search for flood maps at FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center