Flooding is the costliest natural disaster to hit the country. From 1980 to 2013, floods cost households and businesses more than $260 billion in damages. If you’re living in a high-risk flood zone, insurance can protect you and your loved ones when a disaster strikes.
But, contrary to popular belief, a homeowner's insurance policy will not cover flood-related losses but a dedicated flood insurance policy will.
If you’re looking for a flood insurance policy, keep in mind these vital factors:
Know the basics
Under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), the federal government provides flood insurance to owners of residential and commercial properties in the country.
In order to obtain flood insurance, communities must join the NFIP and agree to enforce floodplain management standards. Once this is done, the concerned residents can apply for flood insurance coverage through the NFIP.
The NFIP places a limit on the amount of protection it will provide. It stands at $250,000 for residential properties’ structural coverage. Homeowners can secure coverage up to $100,000. Homeowners typically have to wait for 30 days before flood insurance goes into effect.
Flood insurance is designed for all kinds of properties, including rental. Furthermore, many mortgage lenders require their clients to purchase a flood insurance policy.
You can purchase a flood insurance policy for contents or for your property structure. Structural policy will cover damages to your home. On the other hand, contents coverage will offer protection against losses to personal belongings.
Private coverage vs. NFIP
You can buy a flood insurance policy from a private flood insurance company or through NFIP.
While NFIP offers affordable premium, a private insurance company provides substantial coverage. If you belong to a high-risk area, it makes more sense to buy insurance from a private company.
Assess the cost of flood insurance
Several different factors will determine your insurance premium. Some of these factors include location of a property (high or low risk zone), elevation level of a property, risk of flooding in the area, amount of insurance you purchase, deductible amount, items you need to cover, and more.
Understand the coverage
A standard structural policy will cover your home, its foundation and specific items, such as water heaters, refrigerators, air conditioners, furnaces, carpeting, wallboard, cabinets and more.
Meanwhile, contents coverage will offer protection on clothing, furniture, electronic equipment, etc. Valuables are generally covered up to $2,500.
However, there’s no coverage for cash, car, stocks, bonds, moisture, mold or mildew, trees, swimming pools, and patios. At the same time, NFIP offers limited coverage for basements.
Contact a broker
A specialized insurance broker has the expertise, knowledge and resources to help find comprehensive flood coverage at the best pricing. At Manatee Insurance Services, Inc., our competent, experienced brokers can help you find the best possible flood insurance coverage from reputable insurance providers. Get in touch at 941-747-7283 to schedule a consultation.