If there’s one thing that’s on every Florida homeowners’ mind these days, it’s their home insurance.

Specifically what’s covered and what their premium is.

Something many homeowners have had to learn in recent years is that flood damage is not covered by your standard home insurance policy, which is why many Florida homeowners are debating adding a flood insurance policy to their account.

So let’s talk about why floods aren’t typically covered by home insurance, what flood insurance does cover, and whether or not you need it.

A flooded garage after heavy rain.

Why Does Home Insurance Not Cover Flood Damage?

If flood waters get into your home and cause damage, doesn’t it make sense that your home insurance should cover the cost of those damages?

Not exactly. And it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

For starters, flooding is much more common than we think, and repairs from flood damage are very costly. That means numerous claims are filed year after year, and the more claims insurance carriers handle, the higher their rates go for everyone, and insurance eligibility becomes less certain.

While we might only think of flooding as something that happens during hurricane season, flooding occurs outside of catastrophic events as well. FEMA actually defines a flood as “partial or complete inundation of 2 or more acres of normally dry land area,” and a heavy rainstorm can certainly produce that.

This also makes flooding hard to predict, which makes it hard for insurance carriers to factor the risk into their premium estimates.

So while it may be frustrating to purchase an additional policy, home insurance—including flood coverage—is actually not feasible for insurance carriers, and policyholders would suffer because of it.

Note, some carriers do offer a flood endorsement as part of their home insurance policies, but this is not common for many policyholders and carriers.

Handyman repairing a burst water pipe and water damage.

What Type of Water Damage Is Covered by Your Home Insurance?

That doesn’t mean your home insurance won’t cover any water damage at all.

Standard home insurance policies will cover water damage that comes from inside your home: a burst pipe, leaky plumbing, a faulty appliance.

It also covers some damage that comes from outside your home, such as a roof leak or storm damage that does not include standing flood waters. It may cover water damage after a fire from either sprinklers or hose as well.

There are some restrictions however.

For example, if your water heater bursts, but it’s determined that you neglected to do proper maintenance on the appliance, your insurance may not approve your claim. It will also not cover damage that comes from sewer or drain backup or sump pump failure. Those will require additional policies.

Another thing to keep in mind: Your home insurance will cover the damage of the burst water heater but not the cost to replace the water heater.

Aerial view of Florida home flooded after Hurricane Ian in 2022.

Do You Need Flood Insurance?

With insurance costs rising astronomically in Florida—particularly concerning home and auto policies—many homeowners don’t want to take on the added expense of having a flood insurance policy as well.

But when you look at the risks of not having flood insurance, it’s worth it to be covered.

For one, you’re covered in case of an emergency. That is ultimately the point of insurance. It takes care of you when you need it.

Another major pro to having flood insurance? Water damage is one of the more costly types of insurance claims. Just one inch of water can cost upwards of $10,000 in repairs.

On that note, flood insurance does not have the most expensive premiums comparatively. In Florida, the average annual cost of flood insurance is $910 when purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program.

Flood insurance purchased through a private insurer might have broader coverage and higher limits which can affect the pricing.

As with all insurance policies, the more at-risk you are and the more coverage you select, the higher your premiums will be, but in general, flood insurance is more affordable than many people think.

Especially when you consider paying for repairs out of pocket.

The key thing to remember regarding flood insurance is that policies are typically not effective immediately.

Those purchased through the NFIP have a 30-day waiting period after the premium is paid, and those purchased through private carriers have various waiting periods as well.

So don’t wait until storm season to begin researching coverage. The time to purchase flood insurance is the dry season.

Get the Flood Insurance You Need form Darr Schackow Insurance

At Darr Schackow Insurance, we believe in being prepared. We also believe in taking a personalized approach to each and every one of our clients.

That means we’ll help you find the exact flood insurance policy you need that fits both your lifestyle and your budget. We’ll also do our best to help you save on all your insurance policies whenever possible.

We know how difficult it is to navigate the insurance industry in Florida right now, and that’s why we’re here to make things easier. Let us sift through numerous policies and quotes and present you with only the best options.

Contact us today to get a flood insurance quote.