The 411 on Flood Insurance
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), designed to help those who live in flood zones, is operated by The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). There are quite a few insurance providers who also provide additional coverage to help fill the gaps left behind by this standard protection. It’s important to know the details of this kind of policy coverage so as to clear up any misconceptions about how it can help those living in flood prone areas.
National Flood Disaster Declared
A major proportion of natural disasters that occur in this country generally will have a component of some flooding. A whopping 80% or so of these kinds of insurance claims are filed in high risk flood zones. More often than not, FEMA provides support in when a presidential declaration of a national disaster has been released. Therefore, it’s highly advised to consider purchasing good flood coverage that will protect you from damages even when no national disaster has been declared by the government.
Types of Coverage
It is important to note that one cannot obtain coverage for flood events using a standard homeowner’s or renter’s insurance plan (unless obtained through the federal government).
This kind of a policy is offered through the NFIP to those jurisdictions that participate in the program. However, one can purchase a policy from an insurance provider to protect one’s self against a myriad of flood-related losses. One need only conduct an Internet search for an agent or provider that offers NFIP insurance policies. There is flexibility in that a property can be covered on cash value basis or in the form of a replacement basis.
NFIP insurance coverage is surprisingly affordable with annual starting premiums of around $115. FEMA states that protection can be increased up to a maximum of $250,000- This amount is determined by the insured’s individual coverage needs and by the flood risk in the locale in which the policyholder resides. Additionally, one’s assets that lie within the home can be covered up to $100,000 annually.
Note that there is generally a month’s waiting period before policy protections can be utilized, so it is smart to purchase coverage while everything is hunky-dory. And one is also wise to look into obtaining a level of insurance protection that will cover your flood damages beyond the standard limits of an NFIP insurance policy. In other words, don’t wait until you’re knee deep in water in your living room before acting and don’t necessarily count on the rather basic coverage that is provided by the federal government to fully cover your losses. This is where private flood insurance can step in and help enormously in times of watery crisis.