Hurricane Sally brought 6 ft. of storm surge and flooding of up to 30 inches when it came ashore along the Gulf Coast. Homeowner’s insurance provides coverage for some forms of water damage, such as if hurricane winds blow debris through your window and rain damages your carpeting. Flooding or storm surge damage caused by a hurricane will not be covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy. Instead, you’ll need a separate flood insurance policy that will cover rising water and storm surge from natural disasters, much the same way you needed a separate windstorm policy to cover hurricane damage. If you live in a region that is at higher risk of flooding and hurricanes, you may already be required to maintain flood insurance as a condition of your mortgage. However, it’s still a good idea to consider coverage if you live in a flood plain, even if it hasn’t been zoned as high risk.
The cost of flood insurance varies based upon where your house is located, as well as whether it’s your primary residence—vacation rental homes and secondary houses may cost more to insure. Flood insurance policies from FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) provide coverage for both your dwelling as well as the contents of your home. However, if you want over $250,000 of dwelling coverage, coverage for landscaping or decks that could be damaged in a hurricane, or additional living expenses coverage, you’ll need to get a policy from a private flood insurance company. Private flood insurance can either be purchased as excess flood insurance coverage, adding on to your NFIP policy or as a standalone policy. With offices through the state, our team is ready to assist you with any questions to make sure you have the coverage you need.