The average homeowners’ insurance policy doesn’t cover flooding but it is very essential to protect yourself from flooding. No areas of the United States are immune from flooding as there are many weather-related conditions which can cause a flood including natural disasters and storms.
The National Flood Insurance Program or NFIP was created in the late 1960s by Congress to provide flood damage protection to home and business owners. This federal insurance program is available to homeowners, those who rent and business owners if their community takes part in the National Flood Insurance Program. Communities that do take part in the NFIP agree to enforce regulations that meet or exceed Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requirements to reduce flood risks.
It takes very little water to cause thousands of dollars worth of flood damage. The cost of NFIP flood insurance varies and is dependent upon how much coverage is bought, what it covers and the flood risk of the home or business.
NFIP flood insurance is available through most insurance companies. The rates charged do not differ from one insurance firm to another or from one agent to another. The amount you pay for coverage is dependent upon several factors including the age of your home/business and its construction and on your area’s flood risk level. If you have a home or business mortgage from a federally-regulated lender and are in a high risk flood area, you must have flood insurance.
All forms of NFIP provide coverage for buildings and their contents. However, if you are interested in getting NFIP flood insurance, you should speak to your insurance agent about insuring your personal property because coverage for contents is optional. You also should know that there is a thirty-day waiting period from the day you buy this insurance before the coverage begins. That means that the sooner you purchase flood insurance, the better because you never know when flooding can occur. In order to get NFIP insurance, you must pay for a full year’s coverage. You can make this payment in one of several available methods which includes check and credit cards.
If you are interested in buying NFIP insurance you can find an agent near you by visiting the floodsmart.gov website. There is an ‘agent locator’ tool on the site that is easy to use. Just enter your zip code and you will be shown a list of local agents.