When your property experiences a flood, you will need to be in close and timely contact with your insurance company. Well-prepared property owners have homeowners insurance or commercial property insurance, but knowing whether a flood is covered is not always clear cut. We highly recommend contacting your insurance agent to interpret your particular policy and discuss flood coverage. FRDT is providing some basic guidance about the basics of flood insurance and what it will cover.
What is Flood Insurance?
Flood insurance for your property helps cover the costs associated with the repair and restoration of homes and businesses impacted by flooding.
Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in 1968 to accomplish this goal. Today, the NFIP is headed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and serves as a great resource for helping property owners and renters purchase flood insurance.
Is Flood Damage Covered By My Normal Homeowners Insurance Policy?
Unfortunately, most homeowners insurance and commercial property insurance policies do not cover flooding. You will most likely need a separate policy.
Am I Required to Have Flood Insurance?
There are two major categories when assessing flood risks: Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA) and moderate to low-risk areas. You should note though, that flooding can happen anywhere, at any time, and with or without the presence of a body of water.
Residents living in an SFHA must carry flood insurance for properties financed through a federally regulated and insured lender for the duration of the loan.
Those not in a high-risk area are not necessarily required to have flood insurance, although it is highly recommended. Policy affordability and accessibility is often greater in these locations too.
FloodSmart.gov offers assistance in locating insurance providers.
What is Covered by Flood Insurance?
FEMA indicates that your home can be insured up to $250,000, and its contents for up to $100,000. Renters should be able to find similar coverages for their belongings up to $100,000. Non-residential property owners can insure their buildings and contents for up to $500,000. You can expect to pay approximately $700 each year in flood insurance premiums.
The policy for your property itself will cover:
- The dwelling and its foundation
- Plumbing, electrical, HVAC, and water heating system components
- Built-in appliances and some larger moveable appliances
- Carpeting, paneling, flooring
- Detached garages (some restrictions apply)
- Flood damage debris cleanup
For personal property, you are generally covered for:
- Clothes, furniture pieces, electronics and other personal possessions
- Carpets not included in building coverage
- Portable air conditioners and appliances such as microwaves, dishwashers, freezers, as well as the washer and dryer
- Valuable personal items (monetary limits may apply)
Protect Your Property From Flooding
A flood can be a very stressful experience. However, ensuring you are protected with an adequate flood insurance policy can help you recover more quickly after disaster. As always, the First Response Disaster Team is here help you get your property back to pre-loss condition as soon as possible with floodwater removal and flood damage cleanup.