Flooding is an all-too-common occurrence along the Mississippi River and the Gulf Coast. Southaven, Mississippi is far enough from the coast to be spared from the most damaging effects of hurricanes and tropical storms, but that does not mean that local residents won’t experience flooding. 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. With flood insurance, you’ll be able to recover faster and more completely should the worst happen. Talk to a local independent insurance agent about flood insurance for your Southaven home or business. An independent agent can help you assess your risk and purchase the right coverage for your needs.
Do I Need Flood Insurance in Southaven, MS?
One of the biggest myths about flood insurance is that if you don’t live in a flood zone, you don’t need it. But the NFIP offers some startling statistics that might make you reconsider. First, the NFIP stresses that nearly 25% of all flood insurance claims come from properties outside of high-risk flood areas. In addition, those who live outside of high-risk flood areas receive one-third of the federal disaster assistance for flood-related disasters. What’s more, disaster assistance is usually in the form of a loan that must be paid back with interest, or a small grant.
Those who live 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. If you live in a Non-Special Flood Hazard Area (an area that has been designated low- to moderate-risk for flooding), it is important that you weigh the pros and cons of purchasing flood insurance. A Non-Special Flood Hazard Area is defined by the NFIP as one that is not in any immediate danger from flooding caused by overflowing rivers or heavy rains.
Average Rainfall and Flooding in Southaven, MS
Heavy rain near bodies of water is the number one cause of flooding. Southaven receives more rainfall each year than the national average.
- US average annual rainfall: 38.61 inches
- Southaven average annual rainfall: 54.00 inches
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. Cities and towns like Southaven are vulnerable to river and stream flooding, flash flooding, and drainage floods. These events can occur with little warning and can cause serious damage in a very short amount of time.
How Much Does Flood Insurance Cost in Southaven?
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 Southaven 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 Southaven 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 which 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 coverage options are best suited to your property and your needs. Your agent can also help you review flood maps for your neighborhood and find out more about your flood risk.
Contact an agent in Southaven now to get the conversation about flood insurance started.
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