Will My Washington Homeowners Insurance Cover Flooding? 

Homeowners Insurance
April 04, 2023
water pooling on the floor in a home

Most standard homeowners policies do not cover flooding and without it you won’t be able to file a claim for damage. And that could be financially catastrophic, depending on the extent of your loss due to the event. 

If you live in the Pacific Northwest, you know that flooding can be a serious problem. While you can’t control Mother Nature, you can protect yourself and your property with the right homeowners coverage

Flood insurance may seem like a murky topic, but we’ll break it down to make it crystal clear. If you’re left with any questions, don’t hesitate to call an independent agent who will help you identify the coverage that will keep you safe and sound. 

What Is Flood Insurance, Anyway? 

Generally speaking, flood insurance works much like your standard homeowners policy. That is, your plan will pay for covered damage to the building’s structure as well as the cost of replacing the contents of your home that are damaged or destroyed by a flood. 

On average, it costs about $700 per year, but the quote you’ll get is based on where your home is located, along with other risk factors. Naturally, if your risk of flooding is relatively low, your coverage premiums will be much lower than if you live in a high-risk zone. 

You can find your flood risk by checking with the FEMA Map Service Center

Why Isn’t Flood Protection Included in My Standard Homeowners Policy? 

Floods can be fairly common, which is precisely why it isn’t a benefit included in your homeowners policy. Thus, depending on where you live and when they happen, the damage can be financially devastating. If flood protection was a standard feature of every homeowners policy, it would increase the cost for everyone who owns a home. 

If you live far from your nearest body of water in Washington, flooding is less of a concern. Keep in mind, however, that even locations far from bodies of water can flood from heavy rainfall, depending on the terrain, the state of the local rainwater collection system, and other factors. So no home is totally free of risk. 

When Should I Have Flood Insurance in the Pacific Northwest? 

Flood insurance is always a good idea, but the best time to purchase is before it starts raining cats and dogs! 

Jokes aside, it’s important to plan ahead and purchase coverage before the weather gets too severe so that you’re not left unprotected during an unexpected downpour. 

And sometimes, it’s not even a matter of choice. The federal government has designated some parcels of the country as being more prone to flooding than others. The most likely locations for this kind of damage are known as high-risk flood zones. If you live in an area within a high-risk zone that’s been designated a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), it’s mandatory that you have flood insurance before you can qualify for a federally-backed mortgage. 

Other designations are low-to-moderate-risk and undetermined risk flood zones. This last classification refers to locations that are very sparely populated or, for whatever reasons, no analysis has been conducted. 

If you’re buying a home in either of those last two zones, it is not mandatory. However, you should still talk to your insurance agent to see whether it might be a smart investment. 

Anxious woman finds a leaking pipe under the sink

What about Homeowners Coverage for Other Sources of Water Damage? 

Naturally, it’s not only external floods that can cause this kind of damage to your Washington home and property. The damage can start a lot closer than you may think. To be honest, some of the highest risks occur right in the home. 

Consider this scenario: You and your family are on winter vacation when your aging furnace breaks down. After a couple of days without heat, the water in a pipe freezes, causing it to burst. You come home to damaged walls and ceilings, plus a house that’s knee-deep in water. 

That’s every homeowner’s wintertime nightmare. But at least you can trust that your homeowners policy will cover the cost of repair for plumbing mishaps. The same is true if it’s a broken or defective water heater, dishwasher, or other appliance causing the water damage. 

And if your home repairs take days, weeks, or even months, it’s likely that your policy will even include temporary housing until your home is repaired and habitable. 

The only time a Washington homeowner might have problems collecting a settlement is if the cause is neglect. For instance, if the damage was caused over time by a leaky roof after standard maintenance and repairs were ignored, then a claim can get denied. 

But in situations where water damage is sudden and could not have been predicted, your insurance company will almost certainly provide a settlement up to your coverage limits and minus your deductible. 

Discuss Flood Coverage with Your Washington Insurance Agent 

Should your property be covered by flood insurance? How likely is it that your home might sustain damage as a result of its location? What will the additional coverage cost? What else should be included in your policy for optimal financial protection? These and more are questions to ask your trusted independent agent. 

Your insurance agent can answer all your questions and help you find the policy that will give you the right protection at the right price. If you use an independent agent, you can take advantage of their ability to shop for coverage from multiple major carriers. That way, you can get the ideal coverage at the most affordable price. 

Find the Most Affordable Home Insurance in Washington Today 

Trust your independent agent at Vern Fonk Insurance to help you determine your flood risk and find the most affordable flood coverage if you need it. Just call (800) 455-8276. You can also meet with an agent at a Washington office location near you or get a quick quote online