What Are My Flood Risks?
With more than 20 percent of the National Flood Insurance Program's (NFIP) claims coming from outside high-risk flood areas those who live in areas with low-to-moderate flooding risk should understand their risk and consider flood insurance. The FEMA flood map service allows you to determine your flood risk. Risk levels are divided into three categories:
- High-risk areas have at least a 1 percent chance of flooding each year. Homeowners in these areas with mortgages from federally regulated or insured lenders are required to buy flood insurance.
- Moderate to low-risk areas have less than a 1 percent chance of flooding each year, but there is still a possibility the area could flood. Flood coverage isn't required in these areas, but it is recommended. Some mortgage lenders still require you to have flood insurance in non-high-risk areas.
- Undetermined risk areas are areas where flood-hazard analysis has yet to be conducted, but risk still exists.
- Flood insurance is a separate coverage that you can purchase through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which FEMA manages, or sometimes through a private insurer. Our agency may be able to assist you with an NFIP policy or a policy from a private insurer.
- If you choose a private flood insurance policy, shop around and compare coverage and premiums before you decide which policy to buy. Be sure to ask about the waiting period. NFIP and some private flood policies have a 30-day waiting period unless a policy is bought at the same time as a newly purchased home.
- The NFIP standard flood insurance policy pays for direct physical damage to your insured property up to the replacement cost or actual cash value (ACV) of actual damages, or the policy limits of coverage, whichever is less.
- Homeowners Structure: NFIP policies cover up to $250,000 of flood damage to a home's structure, including:
- Damage to the furnace, water heater, air conditioner and floor surfaces (carpeting and tile)
- Debris removal and clean up
- Coverage for basements, crawlspaces and ground level enclosures on an elevated home is limited, so talk to your agent about any restrictions in the policy
- Homeowners Content: Personal property inside your home is not covered under the Building Property coverage form. However, coverage is available up to $100,000 for an additional premium.
- Clothes, washer and dryer
- Television and furniture
- Other personal belongings
- Business Owners: Personal property is not covered under Building Property policy form. However, coverage is available for up to $500,000 and an additional premium.