Floods are the most destructive natural disaster in Mississippi. Since 1978, Mississippi flood insurance policyholders have received more than $2.8 billion in claims payments. Your homeowners insurance, renters insurance, condo insurance or business insurance does not provide coverage for damage caused by flooding. But you can purchase flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which was created by Congress in 1968 to help property owners protect themselves from the financial devastation of floods.
If you have flood insurance, you can replace your home and belongings much faster than if you had to take out a loan or pay out-of-pocket after a flood devastates your property. Talk to a local independent insurance agent about your need for flood insurance for your Meridian home or business.
Do I Need Flood Insurance in Meridian, MS?
Did you know that nearly 25% of all flood insurance claims come from properties outside of high-risk flood areas? Those who live outside of these areas receive one-third of the federal disaster assistance for flood-related disasters. Even if you don’t live on a flood plain, here are some reasons why flood insurance is important for most home and business owners.
- Floods and flash floods happen in all 50 states.
- Just a few inches of water from a flood can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage.
- New land development can increase flood risk if the construction changes natural runoff paths.
- Federal disaster aid is only available if the president declares a disaster. Federal disaster relief in the form of a US Small Business Administration loan must be paid back with interest. FEMA disaster grants—which do not have to be paid back—are only about $5,000 per household, on average.
- If you live near a levee, do not assume it will protect you. Levee failure is one of the major causes of flooding.
Homes and businesses are also at risk of flooding caused by slow leaks, burst water mains, snowmelt, and even mudflow. Most Meridian residents should at least consider purchasing flood insurance.
Average Rainfall and Flooding in Meridian, MS
Heavy rain near bodies of water is the number one cause of flooding. Meridian receives more rainfall each year than the national average.
- US average annual rainfall: 38.61 inches
- Meridian average annual rainfall: 56.19 inches
All of Mississippi, including Meridian, is vulnerable to river and stream flooding, flash flooding, and drainage floods. One in six acres in Mississippi is on a floodplain, and a major flood occurs every two to three years. Meridian residents should be aware that flooding can happen with little warning and the property damage is often devastating.
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How Much Does Flood Insurance Cost in Meridian?
Flood insurance for a home costs about $700 per year, on average. People who own homes located in high-risk flood areas will pay far more for coverage than homeowners in low- to moderate-risk areas. In addition to the flood risk for your property, here are some additional factors that the NFIP looks at when determining your Meridian flood insurance premium:
- Age, size, and type of home construction
- Elevation of the lowest floor of your home
- Deductible and amount of building and contents coverage
If you live in a low- to moderate-risk area, you may qualify for a more affordable Preferred Risk policy.
What Does Flood Insurance Cover?
Your local independent insurance agent can help you learn more about what is and is not covered by your Meridian flood insurance policy. In general, you need to purchase building and contents coverage with separate deductibles in order to cover both the structure of your home or business and your personal property, or contents. NFIP building coverage pays for damage to the physical structure and its foundation, as well as electrical and plumbing systems, central air conditioning, furnaces, and water heaters. Building coverage also pays for items like appliances, installed carpeting, wallboard, built-in bookcases and cabinets, and more.
NFIP contents coverage pays for damage to your personal or business property such as clothing, furniture, electronics, curtains, portable appliances, and more. And remember that in order for a claim to be covered, the cause of the flooding matters. Damage caused by a sewer backup is only covered by flood insurance if it's a direct result of flooding. If a sewer backup is caused by some other problem (e.g., a mechanical problem) the damage is not covered.
What Is Not Covered by Flood Insurance?
Flood insurance policies have some very specific coverage exclusions that you need to be aware of. These include:
- Damage caused by moisture, mildew, or mold that could have been avoided by the property owner or are 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?
A local independent insurance agent can work with you to determine which flood insurance coverage options are best suited for your property. Your independent agent can also help you review flood maps for your neighborhood and obtain quotes for coverage.
Contact an agent in Meridian now to start the conversation about flood insurance.
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