Everything You Need to Know About Flood Insurance in South Dakota

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Unlike most other states, federal law does not require you to purchase a flood insurance policy covering the amount equal to the principal value on your mortgage in South Dakota.
Many natural disasters like hurricanes, storm surges, tropical depressions, and a lot of rainfall can cause flooding so it’s no surprise that FEMA has labeled flooding as the #1 occurring natural disaster in the U.S. Because of its many causes, flood insurance is too broad a disaster to cover under most basic home insurance policies. 
A recent study posted by the Insurance Information Institute (III), shows that only 30% of homeowners in high-risk flooding zones purchase flood insurance. Too often, people don’t realize their home isn’t covered with flood insurance until it’s too late. With a 30-day qualifying period in place, it’s not a good idea to wait until disaster strikes to purchase home insurance.
To help you figure it all out, home and auto insurance comparison app Jerry has crafted a guide listing all the details you need regarding home insurance in South Dakota.
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What is flood insurance?

Flood insurance is an extra level of insurance on top of your existing homeowners policy. It protects your home and its belongings in the unfortunate case of flooding or water damage that may be caused by flooding.
Your typical home insurance policy will only cover water damage that has been caused by plumbing breaks or hazards. That makes buying this extra policy even more important. 

What does flood insurance cover?

Building coverage and contents coverage are the main types of flood insurance you should become familiar with. Building coverage does just that—it covers the building or home itself. Contents coverage covers your belongings and items damaged inside your home. 
Content coverage gives insurance companies the ability to replace damaged items within your home like appliances, furniture, clothing, and jewelry. Both of these types of coverage are available through The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
There are some flood insurance exceptions you should be aware of. Not all items within your home or all flooding incidents are covered. Sewer mishaps that aren’t caused by actual flooding are not covered by flood insurance. Money, belongings located in a basement, and motor vehicles as well as incidental expenses incurred as a result of flooding will not be covered either. 
The table below offers more details on what is and what isn’t covered with flood insurance:
Type of coverageWhat it coversWhat it doesn’t cover
BuildingElectrical and plumbing systems Water heaters and furnaces Large appliances like dishwashers or refrigerators Permanently installed bookcases, cabinets, and paneling Permanently installed carpets Window blinds Foundational walls, staircases, and anchorages Detached garages Fuel tanks, solar panels, and well water tanks/pumpsDecks and patios Swimming pools Fences and landscaping
ContentsClothing Furniture Electronic equipment Curtains Washing machine and dryer Portable air conditioners, including window units Carpets not included in building coverage Valuables such as artwork up to $2,500Valuable papers Currency Anything stored in a basement
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Do you need flood insurance in South Dakota?

Yes. You need flood insurance in South Dakota.
In most states, it is required by federal law that homeowners purchase a flood insurance policy covering the amount equal to the principal value on your mortgage. That is not the case in South Dakota.
FEMA, also known as The Federal Emergency Management Agency, manages the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). This program makes flood insurance available to all homeowners based on the level of flood risk for their property. 
Although the NFIP manages flood insurance, the formal policy will be provided by a private company similar to Allstate or Farmers Insurance. The NFIP also has resources for helping homeowners locate a local insurance company.
Flood insurance is available for anyone to purchase. Actually, it’s a good idea to do so because just one inch of water can cause up to $25,000 in damage! Flood insurance is also available for renters. No home ownership is required. 
Homeowners outside of FEMA’s designated high-risk flood zones make up over 40% of NFIP claims. 
To purchase an NFIP flood insurance policy, you must live in one of South Dakota’s participating communities. If your community doesn’t appear on that list, you can still buy flood insurance. You’ll just have to go through a private company. Better Flood Insurance is a good place to begin your search. 

What flood zones require flood insurance in South Dakota?

FEMA determines high-risk and low-risk areas in South Dakota by using flood maps. You can use their Flood Map Service Center to determine your home’s level of risk.
Key Takeaway Homeowners, renters, and business owners can all purchase flood insurance policies. 

How much does flood insurance cost in South Dakota?

The national average cost of flood insurance is $739 per year. South Dakota’s average cost for coverage is $1,034 per year, which is quite higher than the average national cost. Less than 2% of homeowners in South Dakota actually have a flood insurance policy. Flood insurance rates can vary depending on a few things: level of elevation on your property, where you live and the age of the building.
Maximum coverage limits for residential structures that are 1-4 units large is $250,000 in-building coverage and $100,000 in contents coverage. Residential buildings with more than 5 units hold maximum coverage at $500,000 in-building coverage and $100,000 in contents coverage.

How to save money on flood and auto insurance in South Dakota

Here are ways you can reduce the cost of flood insurance in South Dakota: 
Flood insurance will not cover damage to your vehicle(s). Protect your ride in the event of a flood and download the Jerry app. Jerry’s licensed insurance wizards pull quotes from the nation’s top insurance providers in less than a minute! You’ll be surprised by the level of support received as Jerry can even cancel your current policy for you. 
“I moved states recently and my old provider didn’t cover me anymore, so I tried using Jerry. They handled everything from fetching the quotes to purchasing the new policy. Now I save $30 a month with Progressive!” —Kay J.
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