Gisela Castro

CEO , Complete Insurance Agency


Why You Need Flood Insurance – Even if You’re Not in a Flood Zone

If you don’t live inside of a flood zone, you may not even be considering flood insurance. After all, the risk of your home being flooded is low, right?

It’s common to have flood insurance in Miami, but those living in moderate to low-risk areas of the state may choose not to buy coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program.

But with intense rainfalls becoming more common, failure to buy flood insurance is a big mistake that many homeowners are making.

Here’s why you need flood insurance even if you’re not in a flood zone.

Your Homeowner’s Insurance Probably Doesn’t Cover Floods

Standard homeowner’s insurance policies typically won’t cover flood damage. They will likely cover water damage from a burst pipe or broken dishwasher, but they won’t cover any type of flood damage – regardless of the source of the water.

Only a separate flood insurance policy will cover flood damage. If you don’t have a separate flood insurance policy, you will likely be responsible for the cost of rebuilding and repairing out of your own pocket.

Floods can Happen Anywhere

If you don’t live in a high-risk area, you don’t really have to worry about flooding, right? Wrong. Every home is at risk of flood damage.

According to FEMA, more than 40% of all National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) flood insurance claims were from policyholders outside of flood zones between 2014 and 2018.

Flooding can happen anywhere and can come from a variety of sources:

  • Severe storms
  • Over-saturated ground
  • Water main breaks
  • Failing drainage systems
  • Construction sites

Just because your area doesn’t have a history of flooding or isn’t in a high-risk area, that doesn’t mean that you will never experience a flood. Is it worth taking the risk of not being covered if disaster should strike?

Flooding can be More Severe Today

Floods today tend to be more severe simply because of how humans have reshaped the landscape.

For example, 20 acres of forested land can generally absorb heavy rains. Brush and leaves on the ground allow the water to be better absorbed by the earth.

If you take that same 20 acres and turn it into a shopping mall with a large parking lot, that ground is now covered in pavement. Pavement cannot absorb water, so that water has to go elsewhere. Usually, that means the water runs into the nearest canal, river, lake or water source. Heavy rains can easily overwhelm these bodies of water and lead to flooding.

The biggest issue today is that society’s infrastructure is making it harder for rainwater to be absorbed. Flooding is more severe because rivers and creeks are being overwhelmed by heavy rains that were once easily absorbed by forest floors.

Not only does this make flooding more severe, but it also makes it more common, even in areas that aren’t especially prone to flooding.

The more severe the flooding, the higher the cost of repair and rebuilding, which makes flood insurance even more important.

Flood Damage is Costly

Flood damage has cost the U.S. an estimated $75 billion over the last three decades, according to a study from Stanford University. The average flood claim cost in 2018 was $42,580.

With flooding becoming more common and a growing percentage of claims coming from homeowners outside of flood zones, it only makes sense to buy flood insurance. Failure to purchase coverage can leave you footing the bill for a complete rebuild or significant repairs to your home.