South Dakota is primed for flooding each spring, with heavy snowmelt, thunderstorms and a swollen Missouri River. Many South Dakota residents are unaware that their homeowners insurance doesn't cover flooding. Only a flood insurance policy from the National Flood Insurance Program can help with the cost of natural flooding from rain, mudflows, and creek or river overflows. You can get flood insurance quotes for your South Dakota business or home and get coverage customized to your property and your budget. Even if you currently rent your home, you can get an inexpensive flood policy that will cover your belongings if a flood destroys your personal property and leaves you without a place to live.
South Dakota Flood Facts from the NFIP
- One cubic foot of snow melts into gallons of water. Snowmelt is a major cause of flooding and creek runoff in SD every year.
- Heavy rain frequently causes flash flooding of rivers, creeks and low-lying areas in SD.
- SD suffered three floods in 2013 alone. The government declared these federal disasters.
Most floods that destroy homes do not qualify for federal assistance. However, even if a flood does fall into the federal disaster category, assistance arrives in the form of federal loans that you must repay. A flood insurance policy can help you rebuild your home without going into debt.
Who Needs Flood Insurance?
According to NFIP statistics, only 2 percent of South Dakota residents currently have flood insurance. That means 98 percent of the state population would have no coverage if one major flood were to wipe out its homes, apartments or places of business. Most homeowners policies and business policies cover only interior flooding from broken pipes. Natural flooding caused by snowmelt, rainfall and swollen rivers does not qualify as a covered event.
If the government declares the flood a federal disaster, you could qualify for a loan through FEMA, but you would have to repay the debt, often on top of your mortgage. If you cannot afford to cover the cost of a new home, relocation or the replacement of damaged belongings, you need a flood insurance policy.
If you live in a special flood hazard zone, designated as such by the NFIP, you may have to get flood insurance when you sign a mortgage. However, most floods occur in low to moderate risk areas, so even if you are not in a high-risk zone, flood insurance is a good financial decision.
What Does Flood Insurance Cover?
Flood insurance covers a set portion of the cost of flood damage to your home or business. It can cover the following:
- Your house, apartment or office
- The foundation
- Your heating and cooling system
- Carpeting and paneling
- A detached garage
- Other detached buildings, with a separate policy
- Tools and equipment
Note that flood insurance does not cover cars, boats or other motorized vehicles. To cover your vehicles against flooding, be sure to add comprehensive coverage to your auto policy.
If you rent, you can get a low-cost flood insurance policy that covers only your belongings and furniture. The buildings belong to the landlord, so your policy only has to cover what you keep in the home, which is worth an average of $20,000.
Be sure to purchase coverage long before a big storm heads in your direction. Flood insurance policies take 30 days to activate, so a last-minute decision will not be much help.
How Does Flood Insurance Work in South Dakota?
The NFIP partners with a long list of private insurance carriers to provide flood coverage for participating communities. Not every neighborhood or city takes part in NFIP coverage, so you will have to check with a local agent to find out if your home is in an eligible area.
NFIP coverage comes with set limits of up to $250,000 for a single-family home, so if your home or business property is worth more, you may only be able to cover a portion of the cost of a total loss with a flood policy. Flood insurance pays the replacement cost or actual cash value of the damaged property, up to the limits of the policy.
Get the Best Quotes on Flood Insurance
You should always shop around for the best flood insurance quotes. A local agent in the Trusted Choice® network can access many different insurance carriers to find the one with the policy and price you need. Trusted Choice agents are independent agents, not bound to the offerings of just one company. A local agent can help you find customized coverage for your home or business and can advocate for you if you ever have to file a claim.
Find an agent right here in South Dakota for the flood insurance quotes and personalized service you need.