April 16, 2024

Flood Insurance for Wisconsin Homeowners and Renters: Stop Rain From Draining Your Savings

A dog lays under an umbrella in the rain with a sad look on his face.

With Wisconsin weather getting wetter and rainier year-over-year, sewers and drainage infrastructure can struggle to handle more rainwater than they were designed for. Flooding is on the rise – so much so that Governor Evers has designated a Flood Insurance Awareness week to educate renters and homeowners on their options when it comes to protecting their property. 

Just one inch of standing water can cause as much as $25,000 in damage, so playing it safe sounds like a smart move. But how can you know what type of flood insurance policy is best for you?

Do I Need Flood Insurance?

Many standard homeowners and renters insurance policies don’t automatically include flood damage. That’s troubling news, considering the National Flood Insurance Program’s findings that 40% of annual flood claims come from areas that weren’t designated as high-risk. 

You don’t even have to live near a body of water or in a known flood plain. Rain and storms are inescapable – and few people could justify uprooting their lives because of changing weather.

  • As a Homeowner: if you have a mortgage from a federally regulated lender and live in a Special Flood Hazard Area, you are required to purchase flood insurance.
  • As a Renter: for as little as $99 a year, renters can get contents-only flood insurance, which covers their personal property against flood damage.

What Are My Flood Insurance Options?

Wisconsin residents have two primary paths to flood protection:

National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) plans are available in most parts of Wisconsin communities (although your community isn’t guaranteed to participate). These policies have a standard 30-day waiting period from the date of purchase before they become active. Visit websites like floodsmart.gov and the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance at oci.wi.gov/flood for more details.

Private Flood Insurance offers similar protection to NFIP plans, with the benefit and flexibility of additional or tailored coverage options. When you choose a private policy, a provider from Lindow’s network will guide you through what is and isn’t covered to build the best flood insurance plan for your needs.

Common Flood Insurance Plans Include:

  • Building Coverage: for the physical structure of your house or condominium.
  • Contents Coverage: specifically for the items inside your home.
  • Sump Pump and Sewer Backup Insurance: usually available as added coverage options. It’s a smart move for flood-prone areas or neighborhoods with old, narrow pipes.

Closing Thoughts

It’s a cliche, but for good reason: the best time to get flood insurance was yesterday. The second-best time is now. Remember that most policies have a 30-day waiting period, so acting before the summer storms (which we know all too well) arrive is the way to go for Wisconsin residents.

With policies that can cover up to $250,000 in building damage and $100,000 in contents for residential properties, the peace of mind flood insurance offers far outweighs its cost. We encourage you to read up on your options and contact us when you’re ready to get protected – or if you have any questions about what kind of flood insurance is best for you!

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