Does Your Homeowners Insurance Really Protect You at All?

Flood insurance

Many homeowner insurance policies only protect against wind damage. Private home insurance policies that do cover floods may only do so in excruciating specific ways. For example, some homeowner policies require that flooding be a direct result of water entering a house through a window, but only if the window was blown out beforehand by wind damage.

Most flood insurance policies have a 30-day waiting period before initiation. So, no claim can be considered if a storm is less than a month away. While damages to your home might be covered, there may be claim limits to items in the home damaged or destroyed by flooding. Exposed cash, jewelry, paintings, and so on, may not be covered for damages. Also, anything set apart from the foundation boundary of the house, like a garage, swimming pool, or septic system, may not be covered.

Then, there is the catch-22 dilemma for homeowners regarding mandatory flood insurance purchase. FEMA and the federal government require homeowners in flood prone areas to get flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program. This is especially so for people in flood zones with federally sponsored mortgages.

Hurricane Harvey significantly impacted the city of Houston. Well over 1 million homes were at risk for flooding, Yet, most of these properties are situated in non-NFIP flooding zones, so flood insurance wasn’t a requirement of home ownership.

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