Residents of Milwaukee are well aware of the damages that floods can bring to the area. In the summer of 2010, the city of Milwaukee and the surrounding areas were hit by two flash-floods within one week. The second round of heavy downpours overwhelmed the already saturated ground and sewage systems, causing basements to flood through the region, especially in Fox Point. The affected residents who were without flood insurance suffered large financial burdens in the wake of these floods.
Homeowners insurance policies do not provide coverage for flood damage. Only a flood insurance policy through the NFIP can protect your investment.
Flood damage to a home can be exceptionally expensive. If the flooding is limited to the basement, it can result in structural damage to the foundation of your home as well as the need to replace appliances normally kept in the basement, such as your furnace, hot water heater, washer, and dryer. If the floodwaters affect above-ground floors as well, the damage will be far more expensive as walls, flooring, and personal belongings will often be damaged beyond repair. FEMA estimates that a mere 2 inches of flood-water in a 1,000 square foot home would cause about $10,000 in damages.
Your homeowners insurance policy will not cover damages caused by flooding. Unless you have a qualified flood insurance policy, you will need to cover the costs of repairing and replacing damaged property on your own, and for most people, these costs are unmanageable. Do not fall under the popularly held misconception that federal assistance will provide you with the necessary compensation. This assistance comes only in the form of low-interest loans and must be repaid in full to the government.
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is a program that was created by the federal government in the 1960s as a means to afford citizens a way to avoid the financial devastation that flooding could bring. Until then, if your home was destroyed by a flood, you had no option other than to accept a low-interest loan from FEMA and begin rebuilding your life from scratch.
Rates are standard across the country and are determined by your flood-risk and the amount of coverage you purchase. Residents in high-risk flood zones cannot be turned down for this insurance and your rates will not increase if you file a claim. You may be surprised by how inexpensive a policy is.
If your home is in a high-risk flood zones, flood insurance coverage was most likely required by your mortgage lender when you purchased your home. For those outside these zones, coverage is optional.
Floods can occur anywhere, however, and a surprising number of flood claims come from homeowners who live outside of designated high-risk areas. In fact, most of the Milwaukee-area homes that were damaged by the floods in the summer of 2010 were more than a mile away from the nearest designated flood zone.
Unfortunately, despite the low cost of coverage, many people do not carry flood insurance for their homes. Even though floods in Wisconsin are common, more than 99 percent of this state’s residents do not have flood insurance. Some may be unaware of the availability of this coverage while others may assume that it is included in their homeowners or renters insurance policy.
Flood insurance comes in two types of coverage, one for the structure of the home itself and the other for its contents. You can opt to purchase only one type of coverage or both, depending on your situation. Most homeowners purchase both, but a renter would require only contents coverage while a landlord would require only structural coverage.
Building coverage includes compensation for damages to the structure of the home including its foundation, furnaces, air conditioning units, electrical and plumbing systems, built-in appliances, and permanently installed carpeting over unfinished floors. Contents coverage includes compensation for loss or damage to furniture, clothing, window-dressings, electronics, flooring, and portable appliances including window air-conditioners.
Flood insurance does not cover damages to property or home-improvements in finished basements. These insurance policies also do not go into effect until 30 days after they have been purchased, so do not wait until heavy rains make flooding imminent to purchase your Milwaukee flood insurance policy.
Though all NFIP flood insurance policies are provided by the government, you must obtain your policy through a licensed insurance carrier. Obtaining a flood insurance policy for your home is easy with the help of a Trusted Choice® network agent. Your local agent can assist you by answering your questions, ensuring that you have enough coverage and by making sure that you are getting your policy at the best possible price.
Your local Trusted Choice member agent can do more than just help you secure an ideal flood insurance policy. Agents are available to assist you with all your insurance related questions and may even be able to find ways to save you money on your other insurance policies. Contact an agent in your ZIP code today to get more information and to obtain your obligation-free selection of Milwaukee flood insurance quotes.