Floods are one of the most common natural disasters, and are consistently the most deadly. No matter where you live, a flood can happen. Washington is one of the most flood-prone states in the nation, so for residents of the Evergreen state, flood insurance can prove valuable.
Many home owners believe that flood damages can be covered by their homeowners insurance. This is unfortunately untrue. A flood insurance policy is the only way to have coverage in case of a damaging flood. Even a flood of only two inches can spell disaster in a home.
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Washington Flood Facts
- Washington is the state with the second-most flood insurance policies.
- Western Washington is especially prone to floods.
- In 1997, Washington had the highest number of floods in the nation.
Communities in Washington are well aware of the risk of flooding, and flood insurance can be required by lenders in order to secure a loan for a home or property.
The History of Flood Insurance
Back in the 1960's, flooded communities banded together to ask the government to do something to help families affected by floods. Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in 1968 as a response to this outcry. The NFIP is overseen and administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The NFIP offers flood insurance policies to the majority of homeowners. Communities looking to get flood insurance qualification must adopt flood abatement measures in order to get eligibility for flood insurance. The price of flood insurance will vary depending on the prevalence of flooding in that area.
What Does Flood Insurance Cover in WA?
Flood insurance is typically offered in two forms, building coverage and contents coverage. The breakdown may resemble the following:
- Building coverage: Building coverage is designed to help cover materials in the building's structure, including plumbing, electrical, walls, and windows.
- Contents coverage: Typically offered at half the limit of the building coverage, this policy can cover all of the furnishings inside the home, such as carpeting, appliances, electronics, and furniture.
Coverage amounts can vary, as well as what is excluded from the policy. Typically, however, the basement of a home will not be eligible for coverage. There may also be a waiting period of 30 days put in place on the policy.
How Much Flood Insurance Do I Need?
The amount of flood insurance you need may not be the same for your entire community. The policy limits you choose are incredibly important. In order to figure out how much flood insurance you need, you'll need to get a general idea of what your assets are worth. While this may seem like an arduous process, it's well worth your time. Go through each room in your home, writing down the belongings in each room. Give each item a value, down to your socks and dishes. When you have a total for each room, add those up in order to get a basis for the amount of coverage you will need.
If you are a renter, contents coverage is the only policy you'll need, however, it's important to get an accurate value of your belongings as well in order to get enough coverage to replace your items. If you are a landlord, a structure policy will most likely be your best bet.
How Much Will a Flood Insurance Quote Be in Washington?
Flood insurance policy rates are set by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), so they stay static. However, the NFIP uses flood zone maps to determine pricing, so there are variables. For a flood insurance policy offering $35,000 in building coverage and $10,000 in contents coverage, the price will be around the following:
- High flood-risk zone – structure only: $457
- Low flood-risk zone – structure only: $381
- High flood-risk zone – contents only: $186
- Low flood-risk zone – contents only: $163
- High flood-risk zone – structure and contents: $580
- Low flood-risk zone – structure and contents: $527
You may purchase up to $100,000 in contents coverage and $250,000 in building coverage.
How to Obtain Flood Insurance in Washington
Since flood insurance is offered by all insurance companies, but overseen by the government, you can't be denied coverage just because you filed a claim in the past, or because you live in a high-risk area. When making the decision to purchase flood insurance, it's important to get the best coverage for your unique situation. A Trusted Choice® agent is always available to help you find coverages, suggest policy modifications, or even help you file a claim should a flood occur.