Should You Get Flood Insurance?


All the snow will eventually be water, which has people thinking about insurance and their basements.

"If the drains aren't cleared out I'm afraid that it will rush over the streets or something and then we could have a problem if it gets too close to the house," said Elizabeth Raubolt, who lives in the Lansing's Westside neighborhood.

Flood insurance is not part of basic home insurance. The average additional policy in Michigan costs about $900 dollars a year. For some people that might seem like a lot of money. Keep in mind, we are not even halfway through winter yet, and when was the last time you remember seeing this much snow?

Flood insurance covers any damage to the home, including your furnace or air conditioner. It does not cover personal belongings.

However, if you're worried about water seeping through the basement instead of rushing into your house, coverage is much cheaper.

"[People] can call their insurance agent and ask about a water/sewer drain endorsement which is an add-on to the policy, if that's a risk they they think they are going to face," said Lori Conarton, of the Insurance Institute of Michigan.

A water/sewer drain endorsement costs about $50 a year. The endorsement takes effect immediately.

"The neighbor next door has a sump pump and it seems to be running all the time, so he may be a candidate for some repairs in his basement," said Leslie Mull, who also lives in Lansing's Westside neighborhood.

However flood insurance doesn't kick in for 30 days, so now is the time to have the discussion.

"We're still trying to clean up the disaster from the ice storm," said Jessica Kahler, of Lansing's Westside neighborhood. "There's still downed trees and stuff like that and so I'm sure flooding added to the mix will be really quite an adventure."


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