Excessive rainfall, river and stream runoff, aging levees, and spring thaws can cause flooding and major financial losses for Mississippi residents. Several areas in or near Jackson, MS are designated by FEMA as Special Flood Hazard Areas or high-risk flood zones. Anyone who lives in a high-risk flood zone is required to have flood insurance. And all Jackson residents, even those who live in low- to moderate-risk areas, should consider purchasing flood insurance.
Your homeowners insurance, renters insurance, condo insurance, or business insurance policy does not cover damage due to floods. For this reason, Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in 1968 to provide a way for property owners to obtain flood insurance and have some form of financial protection from flood damage. The NFIP makes flood insurance available to all homeowners, renters, condo owners, and business owners. It can be purchased with the help of a local independent insurance agent.
Do I Need Flood Insurance in Jackson, MS?
Floods are commonly caused by hurricanes, overtopped levees, outdated or clogged drainage systems, and rapid accumulation of rainfall. Flooding is also caused by improper land use for new construction and development. Remember, just a few inches of water can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage to your home. If your Jackson home is in any way susceptible to flooding, you need to consider purchasing flood insurance.
Without it, how would you pay for repairs to your home or building? Would you be able to replace your destroyed possessions? Even if a federal disaster declaration is made in your area, disaster assistance is either a loan that must be paid back with interest or a small grant that likely won’t cover the costs to rebuild your property.
Average Rainfall and Flooding in Jackson, MS
Heavy rain near bodies of water is the number one cause of flooding. Jackson receives more rainfall each year than the national average.
- U.S. average annual rainfall: 38.61 inches
- Jackson average annual rainfall: 54.16 inches
Flooding can occur with very little warning and can cause a tremendous amount of damage in a short period. It occurs as a result of heavy storms or a steady increase in river levels from upstream runoff. Low-lying areas in Jackson are particularly susceptible to flooding from the Pearl River and other small creeks and tributaries that flow through the city. Several areas in Jackson are FEMA-designated Special Flood Hazard Areas. If you live in a designated Special Flood Hazard area or high-risk area and you have a federally backed mortgage, your mortgage lender will require you to have flood insurance.
How Much Does Flood Insurance Cost in Jackson?
The cost of flood insurance from the NFIP varies depending on how much insurance is purchased, what it covers, and what the flood risk is for your property. The program determines the flood risk of a property by analyzing the history of floods in the area, as well as other factors such as typical rainfall, river flow, and tidal surge data, topography, flood-control measures, and changes due to building and development.
The data is then used to create flood hazard maps that show the degree of risk for your community. These maps help to determine the cost of flood insurance for your property. Home and business owners in low- to moderate-risk areas may be eligible for a Preferred Risk policy, which can be very affordable and will provide both building and contents coverage. The annual premium for a Preferred Risk flood insurance policy is likely to be far less than the cost of making repairs on your own or paying back a federal disaster loan.
What Does Flood Insurance Cover?
Flood insurance covers physical damage to your property and possessions. Building and contents coverage are purchased separately (Preferred Risk policies offer an option for combination coverage) and have separate deductibles.
Building coverage pays for damage to:
- The building and its foundation
- Electrical and plumbing systems
- Central air conditioning equipment, furnaces, and water heaters
- Refrigerators, stoves, and built-in appliances
- Permanently installed carpeting over unfinished flooring
- Permanently installed paneling, wallboard, bookcases, and cabinets
- Window blinds
- Detached garages
- Debris removal
Contents coverage pays for damage to your belongings:
- Clothing, furniture, and electronics
- Portable and window air conditioners
- Portable appliances, e.g., microwave ovens and dishwashers
- Carpets that are not included in the building coverage
- Clothes washers and dryers
- Food freezers and the food in them
- Certain valuable items such as original artwork and furs, up to $2,500
Coverage for basements and areas below the lowest elevated floor is limited. Remember that the cause of the flooding determines whether your flood insurance policy provides coverage. Damage caused by a sewer backup, for example, is only covered by flood insurance if it is a direct result of flooding. If the backup is caused by some other problem, the damage is not covered by your Mississippi flood insurance policy.
What Is Not Covered by Flood Insurance?
Be sure to discuss flood insurance exclusions with your local insurance agent. If you need to file a claim, it’s best to know what to expect up front. Your Jackson flood insurance policy will not cover the following:
- Damage caused by moisture, mildew, or mold that could have been avoided by the property owner or is not caused by the flood
- Temporary living expenses, such as hotel expenses, while the building is being repaired or is uninhabitable
- Loss of income caused by business interruption
- Property and belongings outside of the home or business, such as trees, plants, wells, septic systems, walks, decks, patios, fences, seawalls, hot tubs, and swimming pools
Why Work with an Independent Insurance Agent?
You can purchase NFIP flood insurance from a licensed independent insurance agent in Jackson. Local agents are your best source for help determining your flood risk, and they can help you purchase flood insurance that meets the needs of your home or business.
Contact a local agent for information and quotes.
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