With the heavy rains the last couple of days, Ft Worth homeowners have seen water in some unique places. Including inside of their homes. The flood can occur and be gone in the blink of an eye, but the damage to a home is immense. Ft Worth home insurance does not cover the damage due to flooding like this. So the obvious questions is what can be done about it?
To be protected from water that enters your home from the outside that is not involved with damage to your home due to wind or hail, otherwise known as rising water, a homeowner will need to carry a separate flood policy. If you lose your roof due to wind and/or hail, and water enters your home, the home insurance policy will protect you as part of that wind/hail claim. This is due tot he limitations and exclusions that are present in a Texas homeowners insurance policy. In Texas, the home insurance policy will have this exclusion wording there.
When purchasing a flood policy, the premium will be in addition to the homeowners policy. These policies come in two different formats. One is administered by the National Flood Insurance Program, which is a government run program with very specific conditions and limitations. The second is private flood insurance markets and the policies will vary from one company to the other based on the specific offering. One thing that is common to both kinds of policies are the flood zones that homes are lumped into to determine a risk value. Every home is classified into a risk category. The greater the risk in the category, the more the premium will be.
The national flood insurance program has a maximum amount of coverage that they will provide for both your dwelling and your contents. The cap on coverage for a dwelling is $250,000 and personal property is $100,000. If your home and contents exceed these values, you will need to purchase either private coverage or excess coverage to close the gap. The pricing and policy language on these types of policies is standardized and does not vary from one company to the other.
While the risk categories used are the same, the private markets will see wide variations in coverage offered, locations offered, and premiums charged! Private markets will allow you to move well above the $250,000 in dwelling amount on the NFIP policies. They will also offer additional coverages like Loss Of Use that are also not offered by NFIP. The other main potential with the private markets is an ability to reduce the premium paid for your policy. They have the flexibility to asses the risk differently which can help keep costs down. The use of an elevation certificate to judge the suitability of the location from a risk standpoint, can greatly reduce the premium for a household.
If you aren’t sure what your options are for flood, speak with one of our agents today. We have access to both private and NFIP markets to make sure that you are properly protected. Independent Insurance Agents can help you find the right market and the right policy.