Having trouble getting your questions answered on this site? Here is a list of general questions others have asked along with their answers.
Doesn’t my homeowner’s insurance policy cover flooding?
No. Flood damage is not typically covered by a homeowner’s insurance policy.
Am I eligible for flood insurance?
You must live in a community that participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to qualify for National Flood Insurance. Find out if your community participates in the NFIP and the kinds of NFIP resources available in your community.
What flood losses are covered?
Direct physical losses “by flood,” losses resulting from flood-related erosion caused by waves or currents of water activity exceeding anticipated cyclical levels, or caused by a severe storm, flash flood, abnormal tidal surge, which result in flooding, as defined in the SFIP. Damage caused by mudflows, as specifically defined in the policy forms, is covered.
What types of property may be insured against flood loss?
Insurance may be written on any building eligible for coverage with two or more outside rigid walls and a fully secured roof that is affixed to a permanent site. Buildings must resist flotation, collapse, and lateral movement. The structure must be located in a community that participates in the NFIP.
- Manufactured (i.e., mobile, travel trailers without wheels) homes that are affixed and anchored to a permanent foundation are eligible for coverage.
- Contents coverage for personal belongings located within an eligible building can also be purchased.
What kinds of property are not insurable under the NFIP?
Buildings entirely over water or principally below ground, gas and liquid storage tanks, animals, birds, fish, aircraft, wharves, piers, bulkheads, growing crops, shrubbery, land, livestock, roads, machinery or equipment in the open, and most motor vehicles are not insurable through the NFIP.
How is flood insurance purchased?
After a community joins the NFIP, a policy may be purchased from any licensed property insurance agent or broker who is in good standing in the state in which the agent is licensed or through any agent representing a Write Your Own (WYO) Company, including an employee of the company authorized to issue the coverage. The agent will complete the flood insurance application, obtain the proper supporting documentation required, and determine the rates for establishing the flood insurance premium.
How are flood insurance premiums calculated?
A number of factors are considered in determining the premium for flood insurance coverage. They include the amount of coverage purchased; the deductible amount selected; the flood zone; location; age of the building; building occupancy; and design of the building (foundation type).
Why does my mortgage lender require me to buy flood insurance?
Under federal law, the purchase of flood insurance is mandatory for all federal or federally related financial assistance for the acquisition and/or construction of buildings in high-risk flood areas (Special Flood Hazard Areas or SFHAs).
The amount of flood insurance coverage required by the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, as amended by the National Flood Insurance Reform Act of 1994, is the lesser of the following:
- The maximum amount of NFIP coverage available for the particular property type,
- The outstanding principal balance of the loan, or
- The insurable value of the structure.
If the property is not in a high-risk area, but instead in a moderate-to-low risk area, federal law does not require flood insurance; however, a lender can still require it. It is also recommended since historically one-in-five claims come from these moderate-to-low areas. Note that if during the life of the loan the maps are revised and the property is now in the high-risk area, your lender will notify you that you must purchase flood insurance.
How many buildings or locations (and their contents) may be insured on each policy?
Only one building and its contents can be insured on a policy. However, the Dwelling Form of the Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP) does provide coverage for up to 10 percent of the policy amount for appurtenant detached garages.
What is covered in my basement?
Flood insurance covers your home’s foundation elements and equipment that’s necessary to support the structure (for example: furnace, water heaters, circuit breakers, etc.).
It’s important to note that some items in your basement are covered under building coverage (like a furnace, hot water heater and circuit breaker) and others are covered under contents coverage that must be purchased in addition to building coverage (for example, your washer and dryer, or your freezer and the food in it).
The NFIP encourages people to purchase both building and contents coverage. Flood insurance does not cover basement improvements, such as finished walls, floors, ceilings or personal belongings that may be kept in a basement.
What is the flood insurance policy term?
Flood insurance coverage is available for a 1-year term.
Is there a “grace period” after a policy has expired?
All policies expire at 12:01 a.m. on the last day of the effective term, but you remain covered for 30 days after the expiration of the policy. Claims for losses that occur in this grace period will be honored, provided that the full renewal premium is paid by the end of the 30-day period.
What is a Preferred Risk flood insurance policy?
The NFIP’s Preferred Risk Policy, or PRP, offers low-cost flood insurance to owners and tenants of eligible residential and non-residential buildings located in moderate- to low-risk areas.
Is my house a “Severe Repetitive Loss Property?”
A property is defined as a “severe repetitive loss property” when it meets one of these conditions:
- Four or more separate flood claim payments have been made and each claim payment exceeds $5,000, or
- At least two flood claims have been made and the cumulative payments exceed the value of the property.
What is Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) Coverage?
Most NFIP policies include ICC coverage, which applies when flood damages are severe. ICC coverage provides up to $30,000 of the cost to elevate, demolish, or relocate your home. If your community declares your home “substantially damaged” or “repetitively damaged” by a flood, it will require you to bring your home up to current community standards.
The total amount of your building claim cannot exceed the maximum limit for Building Property Coverage ($250,000 for a single-family home). Having an ICC claim does not affect a Personal Property claim (up to $100,000), which is paid separately.
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