Floods can stem from a number of sources, from rising tides to prolonged rain spells. Whatever the cause, the effects can be devastating and long-term.
This makes flood insurance important as a financial safety net in the event of an unforeseen flooding event.
Learn the ins and outs of flood insurance, how it works, what it covers, and why it’s one of the most essential yet overlooked coverages.
What Is Flood Insurance?
Flood insurance is quite self-explanatory; it covers the cost associated with flood damage to your residence or business. The definition of a flood includes water damage from natural disasters, such as but not limited to:
- Torrential rain
- Storm surges
- Melting snow
- Groundwater seepage
- Blocked storm drainage systems
- Levee dam failure
What Does Flood Insurance Cover?
Flood insurance includes both dwelling coverage and content coverage. Dwelling coverage encompasses the physical residence, such as the foundation, flooring, electrical systems, and attached appliances.
Content coverage covers personal belongings, such as furniture, electronics, valuable items up to $2,500, and clothing. The insurance will cover these items based on their cash value.
Read also: Do I Need Flood Insurance in Louisiana?
What Does Flood Insurance Not Cover?
While policies differ, most plans typically don’t cover the following:
- Cash and other valuables like gold and silver
- Swimming pools
- Cars and other vehicles
- Important documents like certificates, trusts, and wills
- Loss of income due to inability to conduct home-based business
Any damage stemming from mold or mildew that’s deemed preventable also isn’t covered.
Flood Insurance vs. Home Insurance
Many homeowners assume home insurance covers flood damage. However, water-related damages covered by home insurance are limited to those coming from inside of your home, such as a burst pipe or a backed-up septic system.
It does not include water damage from outside sources. This is why it’s important to have a separate flood insurance policy in addition to your existing home insurance coverage.
Why You Need Flood Insurance
The cost of repairing and replacing items from flood damage can be cost-prohibitive. The real price points vary, and estimates are wide-ranging.
Just one-inch-deep water can cause roughly $25,000 in damage to an average-size home, according to a 2023 report from the National Flood Insurance Program.
This can be an immense financial burden, not to mention it can also negatively impact property resale value. The aftermath of flooding can also lead to mold growth, making the dwelling a health hazard.
How to File a Flood Insurance Claim
If you already have flood insurance and your home incurs flood damage, follow these steps to start your claim.
- Report the flood damage to your insurance agency. The agency will set up an appointment for an independent adjuster to visit and assess your home’s damage.
- Take photos or videos of damaged items.
- Discard items that may need to be immediately discarded due to mold risk. This includes carpet and wooden furniture. Your insurance agent will provide more details on what to discard during the phone call from step one.
- When the adjuster arrives on the scheduled date, be sure to verify his/her identity by examining the person’s Flood Control Number. Get this person’s contact information, including phone number and email. Use this moment to ask any questions you have.
- Upon the evaluation, the adjuster will provide a repair estimate and a proof-of-loss form for you to sign. If you disagree with the estimate, you can file a request for additional compensation.
- Your payment will arrive by mail in four to eight weeks. If you receive a letter denying your claim, you have 60 days from the date of denial to file an appeal.
How to Get Homeowners Insurance in Louisiana
Louisiana residents can purchase a homeowners insurance policy in Lafayette, Baton Rouge, Abbeville, Lutcher, or Franklin from TSL Insurance Group. We provide in-depth consultations and a quote based on your home type, risk, and desired coverage plans.
We have solutions for both private and commercial units. Get covered today for peace of mind in the event of an unforeseen flooding disaster. Contact our team!