USAA Flood Insurance

USAA Flood Insurance

Flood insurance is often one of those costs that nobody thinks about unless they live near the ocean or river, but I am here to tell you how vital flood insurance is and why you should get it. Flood insurance is something that we believe will be needed more than many other insurance coverages, due to the ever-changing of our climate. For example, Antarctica just recorded the hottest day ever recorded. I know for me living in Virginia, I have noticed significantly more flood warning and warmer years. It has rained almost every day in the past few weeks, and 10 years ago, it would have been snow. Whether you notice the warmer weather or not, floods are increasing all over the globe, and the time for flood insurance is now.

What is USAA Flood Insurance?

USAA Flood Insurance is backed by The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). There is no higher authority in the country than the federal government, which is why USAA trusts that damages will be covered. Flood Insurance, defined by FEMA, is an insurance policy that covers the direct physical losses and damages caused by a flood. The NFIP defines a flood as “an excess of water on land that is normally dry, affecting two or more acres of land or two or more properties, one of which is your own.” For a full summary of coverage’s under the NFIP, read the NFIP Summary of Coverage. 

What Policies Do NFIP Offer?

NFIP Policies
Standard Risk Policy This policy is for those living in high-risk areas. The Standard Risk Policy is going to be very rigid and more expensive than the Preferred Risk Policy.
Preferred Risk Policy This policy is for the rest of us that live in low to moderate-risk areas. The Preferred Risk Policy offers much more flexibility on the level of coverage you can have.

Are There Exemptions To The Policies?

Yes, the federal government is going to exempt certain places that they deem to be high risks, such as a basement, crawl space, and walk-out basement. As more Americans move towards houses with walk-out basements, we should consider the issues of being liable for damage to your floors below the main level of your home.  You also need to think about the research done by FEMA that states 1 inch of water can cause up to $25,000 of damage. 

What Does the USAA Flood Insurance Policy Cover?

The NFIP policy is broken down into 2 types of claims; Building and Contents claim, which we put into two separate tables to save you time.

Building Flood Insurance Claims Contents Flood Insurance Claims
Electrical and Plumbing Systems Personal belongings such as clothing, furniture, and electronic equipment
Furnaces and water heaters Curtains
Refrigerators, cooking stoves, and built-in appliances like dishwashers Washer and dryer
Permanently installed carpeting Portable and window air conditioners
Permanently installed cabinets, paneling, and bookcases Microwave oven
Window blinds Carpets not included in building coverage (e.g., carpet installed over wood floors)
Foundation walls, anchorage systems, and staircases. Valuable items such as original artwork and furs (up to $2,500)

Review the table below to ensure your valuables are protected the days you’re not under a flood.

 

Detached garages
Fuel tanks, well water tanks and pumps, and solar energy equipment
 The building and its foundation

*I highly recommend reviewing your area in the FEMA flood zone map if you have any concerns about where you live. 

How Do I Apply for USAA Flood Insurance?

The easiest way is to click this USAA Flood Insurance Link or call 210-531-USAA (8722), and you can log in and get a quote within 30 minutes. As you gather your information together and decide when you want to buy a home and get your insurance needs taken care of, it’s essential to look through our USAA 101 parent blog.

Why Do I Need Flood Insurance?

There is not one place in our country today that is impervious to flooding, whether you live in the mountains of Colorado, the plains of Kansas, the hills in Kentucky, or the deserts of the Southwest. Flood insurance is the best way for you to protect yourself in case the unexpected happens and you suffer water damage to your home or vehicle(only take an inch of water!). Each region of the United States is susceptible to flooding, and with USAA Flood Insurance, you’ll be able to cover your family from catastrophic water damage.

Why Do I Need Flood Insurance if I live in the Rockies?

Many people question whether they need flood insurance if they live in a place like Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, or Montana because they don’t live in high prone flood areas. All of these places get significant amounts of snow that builds up in the mountains during the Winter and has to go somewhere when it all melts. This is the reason rivers like the Colorado, Yellowstone, and Wind River swell and spill over the banks during springtime. If you have a basement in your house, this is the most susceptible area for flooding.

What About Living in the Deserts of Arizona?

I used to live in Arizona for about 4 years, and during that time, we went almost 2 full years without seeing any rain. American’s living in these areas are familiar with Monsoon rains, but what happens when they don’t come? The ground dries out and is unable to absorb rain, which can bring devastating flash floods before you have time to secure your home. I remember the first rain we got in 2002 after the big drought caused significant flooding in areas that were below the mountains. Hundreds of people lost their entire home and all of their belongings. Many of those people didn’t realize the necessity of getting flood insurance for obvious reasons and paid the price for it.

I live in a major U.S. city, do I need Flood Insurance?

Absolutely, yes! One common mistake that many people make is thinking that if they live in major housing development, they’re protected from the drainage issues that affect the coasts. Major cities, such as Los Angles or Denver are great examples of this issue because of the millions of tons of concrete poured into building the city alter the natural drainage of the land. Concrete does not absorb water for obvious reasons, but it has to go somewhere if it rains, which usually means the basement or 1st floor of your home.

I live on the coast of Florida, Can I afford Flood Insurance?

It goes without saying that the coasts of the United States are the most susceptible to flooding due to Tropical Storms, Hurricanes, Oceanic earthquakes, and torrential downpours unrelated to Hurricanes. The common misconception is that flood insurance is too expensive, and companies won’t insure areas that are highly likely to experience a flood. This is often a catastrophic mistake made by people because USAA Flood Insurance will cover you in most situations.

Do I Live in A Flood Plain?

A Flood Plain is an area that more susceptible to flooding due to its location, for example, if you live below sea level or in a valley below a mountain. By checking the FEMA website, you’ll be able to see if your home is located in a flood plain to better help you make a decision if you need flood insurance or not.

Am I Required To Have Flood Insurance?

If you live in a high-risk area, flood insurance is almost always required for you to have if you have a federally backed plan. If you’re curious whether your location is in the high-risk areas, read the FEMA Flood Map and look for all letters that begin with an A or V. As you can imagine, there is an always going to be a higher cost of ownership for homes on our coasts, lakes, or rivers. Living in those places increases your chance of flooding significantly. Therefore the government will always charge more for not just flood insurance, but it will affect your APR and PMI on a home. Always try to factor those additional costs in your purchase plan for a home.

Is Flood Insurance Covered by Homeowners Insurance?

In most cases, Flood Insurance is NOT covered in your homeowner’s insurance package, but it’s covered if you have USAA Renter’s Insurance. An estimated 40% of all American’s are susceptible to flooding, which costs around 3 billion dollars a year in damages. I highly recommend reading your home owner’s insurance contract to determine if flood insurance is covered. Most likely, your house is not covered for floods under your contract, so look no further than USAA Flood Insurance.

Conclusion

As you have now seen, USAA Flood Insurance isn’t just for people who live next to bodies of water; around 40% of all Americans are in danger of experiencing a flood. It takes only an inch of water for the government to consider your basement flooded. With the climate getting warmer every year, snow will turn into rain, and having flood insurance is going to become more prevalent. Personally, I’d get it now before the demand drives up the rates and makes it more difficult to cover yourself.

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