Floods are extremely common in many parts of the United States and can often cause severe damage to homes and their contents. One inch of water alone can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damages. Therefore, many insurance companies recommend that homeowners purchase flood insurance to protect their property. As beneficial as flood insurance is, however, these types of policies don’t cover all damages and losses. Here is a close look at this subject.
Who Provides Flood Insurance?
Personal and commercial flood insurance are both available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) oversees. Many NFIP policies have a 30-day waiting period before they take effect. There are 23,000 NFIP communities throughout the country.
Generally speaking, any event involving overflowing tidal or inland waters, mudflow, or rapid accumulation of surface water is considered a “flood.” The NFIP also considers a disaster a flood if at least two properties (including yours) and two or more acres of dry land are damaged. Water damages resulting from drain or sewer backups are not considered flood-related.
What Is Covered With Flood Insurance?
A standard flood insurance policy includes both building and contents coverage. The former coverage protects your home’s physical structure (walls, foundation, floors, staircases, etc.), plumbing and electrical systems, and water tanks, as well as permanently installed carpeting. Meanwhile, contents typically covered include:
- Appliances (washing machines, refrigerators, microwaves, portable air conditioners, etc.) or business equipment;
- Furniture (couches, tables, chairs, beds, etc.);
- Window curtains and blinds;
- Carpets and rugs; and
Detached garages and valuable possessions (such as jewelry and artwork) up to $2,500 are also covered. The limits are $250,000 for building coverage and $100,000 for contents coverage.
What Is Not Covered With Flood Insurance?
Per the NFIP, a flood insurance policy won’t cover the following damages and losses:
- Damage resulting from mold, mildew, or moisture that you as a property owner could have prevented;
- Damage resulting from earthquakes;
- Loss of use;
- Financial losses arising from business interruption;
- Additional living expenses while your property is being repaired;
- Outside property such as vehicles, wells, plants, trees, fences, patios, decks, swimming pools, and septic systems; and
- Currency and stock certificates.
These damages and items are not covered by flood insurance because they are not directly related to floods, are considered non-essential, or are covered by other types of policies, such as a homeowner’s insurance policy. Be sure to speak to your insurance company to learn what options are available to you.
Is It Required?
Flood insurance is only required if you live in a high-risk flooding area as designated by FEMA’s Flood Zone maps. Coastal areas, for example, are particularly prone to flooding. However, having a policy can give you significant peace of mind even if your property is in a moderate or low-risk flood zone.
If you’re located in a high-risk zone and have received federal disaster aid, you’re required to have continuous flood insurance to qualify for future assistance. It’s also important to keep in mind that FEMA’s flood maps often change, so be sure to check them regularly to see if your area’s flooding risk evolves over time.
How Much Does Flood Insurance Cost?
According to Bankrate, the average flood insurance policy in the US costs $700 per year. However, this figure varies substantially depending on multiple factors, including your area’s flood risk, your property’s age and construction type, and your coverage limits and deductibles. Per FEMA, most homeowners in low and moderate-risk areas pay less than $400 annually.
Speak To The Insurance Experts
Reach out to the professionals at JMG Insurance Agency to learn more about what a flood insurance policy covers. Since 1916, we have been dedicated to serving the insurance needs of clients throughout Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Hawaii, and Massachusetts. As an independent agency, we work closely with many well-known insurance carriers. We also strive to form long-lasting relationships with our clients regardless of their needs and budget.
To create commercial and personal flood insurance policies, we work closely with the NFIP. Private policies generally have shorter waiting periods. Our policies include both building and contents coverage and can thus help protect all the essential aspects of your property. At JMG, we understand how much damage floods can cause and are thus committed to providing you with optimal coverage options.
Call JMG today at (844) 304-7332 or contact us online for more information about our insurance policies.