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Who Needs Flood Insurance?

If you purchased a homeowner or business insurance policy recently, you might have been asked if you also wanted flood insurance. If your first response was to think that idea was going too far, think again. Today, people in many areas of the country, including Vancouver, WA, could be in need of this type of protection.

Why Flood Insurance Is a Smart Move Today

According to the State of Washington Department of Ecology, flooding costs the state more than any other type of disaster. At least 10 flood events are given an 80 percent chance of occurring each year, and that prediction is growing with climate change.

Just in the last year, we’ve seen devastating flood events happening in places that never worried about them before. And, as wildfires are on the rise too, the risk of flooding in the Pacific Northwest will increase even more because burn-scarred areas cannot adequately capture rainfall runoff and snowmelt.

Add rising tides and storm surges to the mix, and the Vancouver area is likely to see dangerous flooding over the next decade. The Columbia River has a long history of breaching its banks. And, as recently as 2019, the river was at flood stage after heavy rains in April. Flood watches for Clark County were issued again in January 2021, including for the entire metro Vancouver area.

Many property owners think their home or business insurance covers flood damage, but it does not. Only having a separate flood insurance policy gives you the coverage you need in the event of a flood.

What Flood Insurance Covers

Flood insurance protects both your structure and its interior in case of flood damage or loss. This includes:

  • Your home or business building
  • Furnaces, water heaters, central air conditioning, and HVAC equipment
  • Permanent carpeting installed over a subfloor
  • Large and small appliances
  • Furnishings
  • Business equipment and inventory
  • Personal belongings like electronics, housewares, and clothing

Your insurance agent can discuss with you how reimbursement for these items is calculated depending on the type of policy you choose. In some cases, you may receive the replacement cost. In others, your policy provides actual cash value (ACV), which factors in depreciation.

Kinds of Flood Insurance on the Market

There are two basic types of flood insurance available today. Insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is part of a federal initiative that works with FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Association. Regions that are in danger of flooding and take appropriate steps to minimize risk are eligible for NFIP insurance. Areas covered change over time, so you may qualify, depending on where your home or business is located.

Private flood insurance is also available, and it is not dependent on where you own property. While this costs a bit more up front, the caps on what is covered are higher, so it is often worthwhile for owners who have invested more in their properties.

Don’t wait until a flood strikes to wish you had purchased flood insurance. The independent agents at Davidson & Associates Insurance are here to help you find the right policy for your home or business in Vancouver. Call us today at 360-514-9550 to learn about your options. Or, reach out online to get started on a quote.