The right home insurance policy can help you recover from disasters that strike at any time. One of the most common natural catastrophes is flooding. While standard homeowners insurance typically covers interior water damage, floods require a separate policy through the National Flood Insurance Program or private insurers.
Most homeowners know a home insurance policy is necessary for anyone who owns property. Many people, however, should be aware that their regular homeowner’s policy does not cover damage caused by flooding or other natural catastrophes. Flood damage is usually covered by a separate flood insurance policy, which can be obtained from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or commercial insurers.
Private insurers offer a variety of flood insurance policies, with prices varying by state and location.
Homeowners’, condo, and renters’ policies usually do not include protection for flood damage, so if you are at risk of flooding, getting a separate flood insurance policy may be worth it for you. You can use the NFIP’s online tool to check your home’s risk factor for flooding. If you live in a high-risk area, you can also get an elevation certificate to help lower your premium.
Homeowners who live in flood zones or a high-risk area should get a separate policy for flood insurance, as most regular homeowners policies do not cover flood damage. In addition, if your mortgage lender uses federally-backed financing, they’ll require you to purchase a flood policy. One of the most expensive natural disasters is floods. If you don’t have flood insurance, you’ll be on the hook for any repairs or replacements to your home and property.
How much is flood insurance in Florida costs varies by location and property. Your home’s distance to a water source, its elevation, and how your community implements flood safeguards all affect the premium. The cost of a policy also depends on whether you buy building or contents coverage and if you choose a standard or Preferred Risk Policy.
Elevating your home and its contents to at least the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) displayed on NFIP maps will help you save money on flood insurance. However, this is a significant project and one that requires professional expertise. Your mortgage lender, NFIP, or local officials can help you find BFE information for your area. It is worth noting that if you raise your building to the BFE, the value of your contents will be adjusted to Actual Cash Value (ACV) at the time of loss rather than replacement cost value. This is because items like wall-to-wall carpeting experience some depreciation every year.
Flooding and water damage are often not covered by homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policies. If you live where hurricanes, tropical storms, or excess rainfall often cause flooding, a flood insurance policy from the National Flood Insurance Program is worth considering.
The NFIP requires anyone who purchases a house in a high-risk flood zone with a federally-backed mortgage to get a flood insurance policy. Although the NFIP does not mandate homeowners in moderate- to low-risk areas to acquire flood insurance, their lenders may demand it.
Even if you are not in a flood zone, a flood insurance policy is likely a good idea because from 2014 to 2018, homes outside designated flood zones filed over 20% of all NFIP claims and received one-third of federal disaster assistance for flood losses. The only way to know whether you need a flood policy is to use FEMA’s mapping tool to determine your risk.
The NFIP provides up to $250,000 in building coverage and $100,000 in contents coverage. You can also buy additional coverage for sandbags, cleanup, and moving expenses. Because most NFIP policies include a 30-day waiting period, you should get a policy as soon as possible.
Most homeowners insurance policies provide financial help after certain types of water damage. However, those who live in areas prone to flooding need to purchase additional flood insurance to protect themselves. The federal National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and commercial insurers offer flood insurance. The NFIP typically provides more affordable options than private companies.
Whether or not flood insurance is necessary depends on the specific circumstances of each homeowner. For example, if your home is in a high-risk flood zone and you have a mortgage, your lender may require you to carry flood insurance. You might also be required to buy NFIP coverage if your community has received federal disaster aid in the past.
Generally, the cost of flood insurance will depend on several factors, including how close your property is to a body of water and its elevation. Other factors that can influence costs include your home’s age and how much of the building is covered by the policy. Regardless of where you live, it’s always a good idea to talk with your agent about the possibility of flood insurance. It’s a significant investment that can make a big difference in your financial stability if you ever need to file a claim. And a policy may be tax-deductible as well.