Did you know that just one inch of water can cause $25,000 in damages to your home? With flood season upon us, there is no better time to secure your flood insurance. If you already have a policy in place be sure to review it and know your coverage. If you’re just getting started, we are here to provide some helpful information and answer some common questions regarding floods and insurance policies.
Do I Need Flood Insurance?
When deciding whether you need to purchase flood insurance, there are some important facts to understand and consider.
- Typical home insurance policies do not cover flood damage. Coverage must be purchased from a federal or private agency.
- Flooding is the number one natural disaster in the United States. You may think that because you live outside a high-risk flood zone you are safe, but the truth is that flooding can occur anywhere. In fact, more than 20% of flood claims every year come from properties that were not in these high-risk areas.
- Find out if you live in a flood zone and what your property’s flood risk is. Depending on where you live, some mortgage lenders require flood insurance.
What are my Flood Insurance Options?
Federal Flood Insurance
- The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is a federal program administered through FEMA. There are no restrictions and policies are available to anyone regardless of whether you live in a floodplain or high-risk area. Most, but not all, communities participate in the program. When purchasing a policy, you want an agent or company who is familiar with NFIP and can explain the benefits so you can best protect your home and belongings should a flood occur. You can get more information here at fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program or speak directly with an NFIP contact at 800-427-4661.
Private Flood Insurance
- This option is not available in all states. Only some private insurers have begun to sell policies separate from the NFIP. The premiums on these policies may be more or less expensive than NFIP depending on how much you want to insure your home for.
- These policies typically have higher claim limits than NFIP. Standard limits for NFIP are $100,000 for personal possessions and $250,000 for your home. If the value of your home or its contents is higher than those limits than private insurance may need to be considered for adequate coverage.
- Going with private insurance does have risks. Private insurers can drop your coverage mid-term or choose not to renew for another year. This risk of being dropped may leave you trying to find another insurer quickly. That could leave you without coverage while waiting for another policy to take effect.
How Long Will It Take for My Policy to Start?
- A typical flood insurance policy will not go into effect until 30 days after purchase. Be sure to ask your agent when your coverage will begin. Don’t wait until the last minute to purchase a policy.
Flood insurance is not something you want to put off. Having adequate coverage for your home can be the difference between recovery and financial devastation. Get ahold of an agent today and secure your policy now.
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