Insurance is a proactive form of protection, and it's essential to understand what it does and doesn't cover.
And with the average Flood damage claims typically exceeding $42,000 per incident.
You’re asking yourself, “Does renters insurance cover floods?” you’re definitely not alone.
Here is everything you need to know about renters insurance and floods to ensure you have the proper coverage.
Does Renters Insurance Cover Floods or Flood Damage?
Most renters insurance does not cover floods or flood damage. If there is a flood, your landlord has no obligation to pay for personal property damage.
The only way to protect yourself and your belongings is an insurance policy that explicitly covers floods.
What Does Flood Insurance for Renters Cover?
Renters flood insurance covers a range of damage to your belongings.
The policy value varies by the rental with some policies covering up to $100,000 worth of expenses.
It's a valuable resource if you need to replace high-cost items, like electronics, clothes, or furniture.
Flood insurance covers you in a variety of situations. That includes levees or dams breaking, heavy rainfall, and fast-melting snow.
All these scenarios can cause unwanted water to seep into your home and ruin your belongings.
Renters flood insurance does not cover damage from burst pipes or plumbing malfunctions.
Policies come in two varieties: those that cover the building and those that cover your personal property.
For instance, if you live in a flood zone, your landlord likely has a legal obligation to purchase a form of flood insurance.
Most landlords purchase building insurance, which does not cover damage to possessions.
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Do You Need Flood Insurance?
The biggest truism in real estate is location, location, location. That statement is also relevant when it comes to purchasing flood insurance.
Where you live determines whether you have a legal obligation to buy flood coverage and whether you actually need it.
Congress requires federally regulated and insured lenders to purchase flood insurance if their property is in a high-risk flood area.
Visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website to learn if you live in a flood zone.
For instance, 26 percent of Florida homes are in a flood zone. Those property owners not only should purchase coverage accordingly to protect themselves, but likely are required to do so.
Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States, and flooding has become more severe recently with December 2018 to February 2019, being the wettest winter in recorded history.
While most flood insurance claims come from inside flood zones, 20 percent do not.
Anyone with flood insurance can claim compensation, even if the federal government does not issue a Presidential Disaster Declaration.
The additional coverage provides peace of mind where renters insurance falls short.
How to Buy Flood Insurance for Your Rental
You have two choices when purchasing flood insurance: an insurance agent or an NFIP-sponsored insurer.
You're free to buy coverage from your choice of insurer, though you can’t buy it from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) directly.
If your insurance agent doesn't offer flood insurance, call the NFIP Referral Call Center, and a representative will forward you to the appropriate insurer.
Take your time when considering the terms and conditions. Ask questions like, “Does renters insurance cover accidental damage?” and “Is flood insurance mandatory where I live?”
An insurance agent can walk you through your insurance options and find ways to reduce upfront costs.
You may be eligible for flood insurance through an escrow account, which operates like a savings account.
This option is most common for people living in high-risk flood areas, like Orlando, Houston, and St. Petersburg, FL.
INSURANCE WHERE YOU LIVE
Renters insurance by state.
How Much Does Renters Flood Insurance Cost?
As of 2020, the average flood insurance policy costs $708 annually.
These policies originate with the NFIP, and prices range on several factors, including your proximity to water.
Here are the top five most expensive and least expensive options by state:
Most Expensive Average Annual Costs
Least Expensive Average Annual Costs
As a rule of thumb, premiums are the most affordable in the South and increase in price for homeowners and renters in the Northeast.
Remember that these figures are overviews for the entire state. Flood insurance prices can range dramatically within the same state, based on their proximity to certain water bodies.
Private flood insurance is an increasingly popular alternative, available in 37 states.
Your property's distance to the nearest body of water has the most sway in insurance pricing, as opposed to the state's border.
Does Renters Insurance Cover Water Damage?
Renters insurance typically covers water damage so long as it is not the result of an external flood.
Your insurance provider will assist you if your washing machine leaks or sewage backs up and damages your belongings.
In most instances, your landlord will also take care of fixing the washing machine or plumbing at no cost to you.
Eligible claims are contingent on the circumstances. While many insurers will compensate you for the damage from a flooding toilet, they’re less likely to assist if you caused the clog.
File a renters insurance claim to see if you’re damaged belongings are eligible for replacement.
Renters insurance is ideal for covering losses in many situations. These cost-effective policies compensate you for water damage while your landlord handles the repairs.
However, renters insurance does not cover flood damage, and you’ll likely need to get a separate flood policy to guarantee protection.
Have more questions? Leave a comment below and we will assist you as much as possible.