Flood (Surface Water) Coverage
Except for fire, floods are the most common and widespread of all natural disasters. Most communities in the United States experience some degree of flooding after spring rains, heavy thunderstorms, hurricanes, or winter snow thaws. Homeowner’s insurance does not cover flood damage.
In a warning to homeowners: After every flood, we hear about homeowners who did not realize they needed to protect themselves with flood insurance. We urge consumers to check now and make sure they have the protection they need.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Since most homeowner insurance policies do not cover
flood, where can I find coverage?
Flood insurance is purchased from The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The NFIP is a federal program enabling property owners to purchase insurance protection against losses from flooding. This insurance is designed to provide an insurance alternative to disaster assistance to meet the escalating costs of repairing damage to buildings and their contents caused by floods. Participation in the NFIP is based on an agreement between local communities and the federal government which states that if a community will implement and enforce measures to reduce future flood risks to new construction in special flood hazard areas, the federal government will make flood insurance available within the community as a financial protection against flood losses which do occur.
- How should I buy flood insurance?
Flood coverage can be purchased through your insurance agent or insurance company. Some insurance companies actually issue the flood insurance policies, in partnership with the federal government, as a service and convenience for their policyholders. In those instances, the insurance company handles the premium billing and collection, policy issuance, and loss adjustment on behalf of the federal government. These insurance companies are called Write Your Own (WYO) insurers. If your agent or insurance company is not in the WYO program you may be referred to another agent or insurance company involved in the program. Your agent may also write a policy for you directly from the federal government.
Facts About Flood Insurance You Should Know
- The average premium is approximately $400 per year depending on where you live and the coverage you choose.
- In low-to-moderate risk areas, coverage can be purchased for just over $100 a year.
- Primary residences insured for 80% of their value, or the maximum amount available, get replacement cost coverage.
- There is a 30 day waiting period from the time a policy is purchased until you are covered with a couple of exceptions such as increasing, extending, or renewing a loan, or when a lender requires flood insurance.
- There is a one day waiting period when additional insurance is required due to a map revision.
- Flood insurance is required by law in some instances. To get federally secured financing to buy, refinance, build, reconstruct or improve structures in Special Flood Hazard Areas, you may be required to purchase flood insurance.
- A flood insurance policy also reimburses you for actions you take to prevent flood damage.
- Flood insurance is available to protect homes, condominiums, apartments,
and nonresidential commercial structures.