Standard homeowner’s insurance does not cover flood damages, nor does renter’s insurance. And even a minimal amount of flooding can have disastrous financial consequences. According to FEMA, one foot of water could cause $27,150 of damage to a 1,000 square-foot home, and the average claim is more than $38,000.
Without flood insurance, property owners are left paying the bill for damages to their home (structure) and personal property (contents), and renters are left covering the losses to their belongings (contents). There may be loans available to help people recover, but those loans will come with interest payments. Approximately 80% of people in Houston did not have flood insurance when Hurricane Harvey hit, and that’s going to have long-term substantial financial impacts on property owners in Texas.
While a “100-year flood” might sound like an improbably event, a flood of that level is thought of a flood that has a 1% chance of occurring in each year. When annualized over the life of a 30-year mortgage, a home in a 100-year floodplain has greater than a 1-in-4 chance of experiencing a flood.