Floods are the #1 natural disaster in the United States.
Floods usually strike without warning. They occur in all 50 states. With the construction of more roads, shopping malls, homes and businesses, the chance of flooding increases.
Millions of buildings have been damaged over the last several years. People have lost their homes and belongings, and they never saw it coming. Are you insured against such a hazard?
Truth is, you can live miles away from water and still be a victim of flooding. In fact, more than one in five NFIP flood claims occur outside of mapped high-risk areas. It doesn’t take much to damage your property. Just a few inches of water from a flood can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage. Fortunately, flood insurance is available to almost everyone.
The National Flood Insurance Program defines a flood as a general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land area or of two or more properties, one of which is yours. Flooding can occur anywhere at any time of the year. Whether they result from flash floods, mudflows, snow melt or heavy rains, floods can devastate communities.
Most homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage.
Your homeowners insurance covers many hazards. Flooding typically isn’t one of them. Also, many people believe federal disaster assistance will cover them. Not always! The President must first declare a flood a federal disaster; any assistance you receive is usually a loan that has to be repaid with interest.
That’s why you need flood insurance. The National Flood Insurance Program was created by Congress in response to the rising cost of disaster relief for flood victims, and for more than 40 years it has provided protection for millions of families.
About 100 private insurance companies nationally offer flood insurance backed by the federal government. Policies are available to homeowners, condo owners, apartment owners, renters and business owners.
Typically, there’s a 30-day waiting period from date of purchase before your policy goes into effect. If your lender requires flood insurance when making, increasing, extending or renewing a loan on a building in a high-risk area, there is no waiting period. There is a one-day waiting period when a revised flood map is issued.
There are two types of coverage: building and contents.
- Homeowners and condominium unit owners can purchase up to $250,000 of building coverage.
- Businesses can purchase up to $500,000 of building coverage.
- Residential condominium associations can purchase up to $250,000 for each eligible unit or the replacement cost of the building, whichever is less.
- Homeowners and condominium unit owners can purchase up to $100,000 for contents.
- Businesses can purchase up to $500,000 for contents.
- Renters can also purchase contents protection up to $100,000.