Is Flood Insurance Included in Renters Insurance?Posted on Jan 18, 2021
You found the ideal apartment, passed a background check with flying colors, signed your lease, and even went so far as to take out some renters insurance to ensure your belongings are covered if something were to go wrong.
But, before you call it a day and get too comfortable in your new home, you might be forgetting about one policy that you really should consider – flood insurance. After all, you can get flood damage in an apartment just as easily as you can in your own home.
Do Renters Need Flood Insurance?
Can a renter get flood insurance? This is a common question. If you’re a renter who lives in a high flood risk area, it’s recommended you purchase renters flood insurance. You might even want to consider it even if you live in a lower-risk area.
Naturally, renting out a Florida apartment, for instance, would put you at a higher risk than other areas. However, unless you live in an elevated apartment, you still don’t want to underestimate your risk.
You can visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website to see if you live in a high-risk flood zone. Simply look up your address. FEMA divides locations based on their proximity to water and elevation and provides them five risk levels.
- In the “V” zone, which is the riskiest zone, you have a 1% likelihood each year of having your home flood
- A 25% likelihood over a 30-year span
- Flood damage could also occur in low-risk areas.
Does Renters Insurance Cover a Flood?
Generally, renters insurance doesn’t cover any damage to your belongings that water from your home’s outside causes since this is flood damage. So, if there was a storm surge, and it flooded your neighborhood, damaging your belongings, your insurer wouldn’t reimburse you for the damage as part of your renters’ insurance policy.
But, there are certain cases where you’d receive non-flood water damage coverage because of internal leaks. Water damages not related to weather (i.e., plumbing leaks) are often covered through renters insurance. And, you could be covered if it’s not under a “flood damage” classification, even if it’s weather-related water damage.
For instance, if a violent storm causes a ceiling leak that damages your personal belongings, the damage could be covered by your renters insurance even though it’s weather-related. Most likely, your landlord would not be responsible for damage caused to your personal property by a storm.
What Does Flood Insurance For Renters Cover?
A renters flood insurance policy is coverage you’ll have to buy separately from your standard renters’ policy. Being a renter, you’ll have to purchase flood insurance that will protect your belongings; you don’t have to worry about the home’s structure since this would be the landlord’s concern.
A renters flood insurance policy will help protect flood-related damage to items like:
- Carpets (except carpets installed over unfinished floors)
- Window and portable air conditioners
- Clothes washers and dryers
- Portable dishwashers and microwave ovens
- Food freezers along with food inside them (not refrigerators)
- Valuable items like artwork and furs up to $2,500
It’s recommended that you purchase an equal amount of flood coverage as you have on your renters’ insurance policy for your personal property. You can estimate your belongings value yourself by creating a home inventory. If you require assistance, most insurers can provide you with personal property online calculators that could help you catalog and value your belongings.
What Doesn’t Renters Flood Insurance Cover?
Renters flood policies provide no loss of use (additional living expenses) or liability coverage. Even more, the FEMA-backed national flood policy has personal property coverage limits where it’s capped at $100,000. If there’s a total loss, that’s the most you’d receive for covering any damage to your belongings.
Does Renters Flood Insurance Cover Basement Possessions?
If you have a basement in the home you’re renting; flood insurance covers fewer types of possessions in the basement than it does in the rest of your home. The only personal property covered through flood insurance in your flooded basement would be:
- Food freezers, as well as the food in them
- Washers and dryers
- Window and portable air conditioners
Since basements are particularly susceptible to flooding hazards, you should consider storing valuable possessions in other areas of your home if you want flood insurance to cover them.
Contact Otterstedt Insurance Agency About Flood Insurance
At Otterstedt Insurance Agency, we’re not just selling you a policy. Like people, insurance comes in different sizes and shapes, and we’re here to help you customize your personal insurance needs. While your renters’ insurance policy won’t cover flood damage – we can.