Imagine you’re home relaxing, when you hear the local weatherman advise that your town is under a severe thunderstorm and flash flood warning—Again! You pause and wonder “Will my home and business be covered if I have flood damage?”
Q: Will my homeowners’ or business policy provide coverage for flood damage?
A: NO! Neither provides any coverage for water damage due to flooding.
Q: What is flood insurance?
A: Flood insurance covers physical loss caused by floods, related erosion, severe rainstorms, flash floods, hurricanes and snow melt, and is offered under a Federal government program known as the National Flood Insurance Program.
Q: Can I purchase flood insurance directly through my own insurance agent?
A: Yes. It can be purchased directly through your agent, the very same way you purchase you home, life and car insurance.
Q: I’ve heard the price of flood insurance can vary widely. Is this true?
A: No. The Federal government sets flood insurance rates, so price shopping and comparison are unnecessary.
Q: My home isn’t located in a high risk flood zine. Why I need flood insurance?
A: Flooding can affect you even if you don’t live near water. Almost 25% of all claims occur in “low-to-moderate risk areas.” If your home is located in such an area, you may be eligible for a low cost Preferred Risk Policy.
Q: What does a flood policy cover?
A: There are two types of flood insurance coverage: (1) building and (2) personal property. Each is sold separately (you are encouraged to purchase both types).
Building property coverage protects the structure, and generally covers:
- The insured building, foundation, furnace and water heater
- Electrical and plumbing systems and central air conditioning equipment
- Refrigerators, cooking stoves and built-in appliances, such as dishwashers
- Permanently installed carpeting over and unfinished floor
- Permanently installed paneling, wallboard, bookcases and cabinets
- Debris removal
Personal property coverage generally covers:
- Clothing, furniture and valuable items, such as original artwork and furs
- Portable and window air conditioners and washers and dryers
- Carpets not included in building property coverage
- Food freezers and their contents
Q: Are there any restrictions I should be aware of?
A: Yes. There is usually a 30 day waiting period before a flood policy becomes effective, but there are exceptions, which your independent agent can explain.
Q: Is flood insurance only available to homeowners?
A: No. It’s available to renters, and business and condo owners.
Q: Does my homeowners’ or business policy cover me for a sewer/drain backup, or sump pump failure?
A: NO! However, most insurers offer endorsements or add-ons to their policies, which can cover the cost of damages and clean-up after this type of event.
Q: How do I know what I should do?
A: Making such a decision about your options is yours—and yours alone under the law. As your independent insurance agent, I can help explain these options. Our agency’s job is to provide you with information, so you can make informed decisions.