Flood Insurance and Hurricanes: What Homeowners Need To Know

Hurricane Flood Insurance

Flood Insurance and Hurricanes

Purchase flood insurance to effectively protect your property against flood related hurricane damage.

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There are plenty of homeowners that learn the hard way that having a homeowner’s insurance policy doesn’t protect them against floods, hurricanes or property damage. If you live in an area that has a high risk of flooding, then it’s best that you purchase a separate flood insurance policy in order to cover your property’s contents and the property itself.

Below we’re going to tell you more about how you can get property insurance and the coverage you’re going to receive.

Finding the Best Flood Insurance Policy

You can get in touch with your agent or broker and then purchase the coverage you need through the national flood insurance program (NFIP).  If you live in an NFIP participating community, then you can easily purchase flood insurance.  Make sure that your agent specializes in flood insurance because not every agent is familiar with the complexities of the program.

Getting Flood Insurance Coverage for Your Home And Its Contents

If you purchase a flood insurance policy through the NFIP, you can benefit from coverage of up to two hundred and fifty thousand dollars for your dwelling and one hundred thousand dollars for personal property. Just keep in mind that contents and property coverage should be bought separately. If you require extra coverage, you should get in touch with a private insurer in order to get excess flood insurance coverage. Based on information from the NFIP, you can expect to pay about seven hundred dollars per year but this varies greatly depending upon your elevation to sea level.

If you want to purchase a home in a high risk flood area and get a mortgage from a federally insured or regulated lender, then the lender will absolutely need you to buy flood insurance.

If the area is designated as a low to moderate risk for flooding, then you do not absolutely need to get flood insurance for the sake of your lender. However, most property owners will choose to buy it anyway. Based on information from FEMA, about a quarter of all flood insurance claims stem from areas with moderate to low flood risk. Luckily, you’re certainly going to qualify for a preferred risk policy which starts at just one hundred and thirty seven dollars per annum for both your property’s contents and the property itself.

Here’s what flood insurance pays out for each type of property covered:

Property: If you plan on insuring a single family property that’s your main home, then you can choose to get replacement cost coverage. This way, your property will be replaced with new property without taking depreciation into consideration. The coverage available is at least eighty percent of the building’s total replacement cost or the maximum amount stated by the NFIP.

Contents: You’ll be paid the actual cash value of the parts of your property that have been damaged. The value will be calculated based on actual value.

Know What Flood Insurance Doesn’t Cover

Following a destructive event, such as a massive flood or hurricane, a flood insurance policy can save you a lot of money. But since it doesn’t cover everything, there are quite a few things you need to know about its limitations and restrictions as we’re going to see below.

Most Contents and Improvements in Below-Ground Areas Are Not Covered

Improvements made to your basement aren’t covered by your flood insurance policy. That is also the case when it comes to personal property, such as furniture, office supplies, electronic equipment, clothing and so on.

Small Floods Do Not Count

You can make a claim with your insurance company if the water that caused the damage covers a minimum of 2 acres of land or has affected at least 2 properties. Mildew or mold damage resulted from the flood is also not covered, if it could’ve been prevented.

Money and Important Papers Aren’t Covered

A flood insurance policy doesn’t cover the cost of valuable papers, precious metals and any type of currency that was destroyed in the flood.

Living Expenses or Business Interruption Aren’t Covered

While your property is fixed, your flood insurance policy won’t reimburse you for your living expenses. Better yet, if you ran a business from your home, any financial losses that resulted from the flood won’t be covered as well.

Landscaping and Swimming Pools Aren’t Covered

In the event something bad happens to your swimming pool and your home is flooded by it, then your flood insurance policy won’t kick in. On top of that, you should also not expect to be reimbursed for flood damage to trees, vegetable gardens, flower beds and your property’s landscaping.

Water Must Have Come From Outside Your Home

If something stops working or breaks in your property and this eventually causes a flood, then your flood insurance policy won’t kick in. The good news though is that the damages can be covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy. Speak to your agent in order to learn more about this.

If You Want Coverage, Act Fast

You may think to yourself that the next hurricane season is still a long time away, but the thing is that getting insurance sooner is not a bad thing at all. On top of hurricane damage, a flood insurance policy also covers you from losses from a wide range of causes, including mudslides, levee dam failures, clogged storm drainage systems, but also snow melt, heavy rainstorms and many more.

One of the best things about getting flood insurance is the fact that the minute you purchase it, you are covered. Sure, there are a few exceptions to the rule where you need to wait for thirty days after purchasing a flood insurance policy in order for it to take effect, but if you know where to get yours from, you won’t need to worry about that. Therefore, it’s recommended that you don’t wait another minute and start looking for a reliable insurance company to get your flood insurance policy from.





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