Flood Insurance Questions & Answers

Homeowners who live in proximity to some seacoast or from river floodplains are able to take advantage of this National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which offers low-cost coverage that is sold through private insurance companies. The high cost of flood damage prompted the passing of this program by Congress in 1968. The program was meant to mitigate the public cost of cleanup in areas declared disaster areas, but it has also raised controversy, as it has encouraged extensive brand new building in hazardous areas which remain vulnerable to storm surges and flooding.

Does Flood Insurance Cover Structure and Contents?

Flood insurance specifically covers the dwelling construction, not extraneous items such as decks, outside fixtures or furniture, piers, seawalls or landscaping characteristics of the home. Contents insurance is available, but has to be bought individually. Homeowners’ insurance policies don’t contain flood coverage; this insurance coverage has to be bought individually.

What’s the Deductible Amount?

The allowable amount of national flood insurance varies with the cost of this policy elected. Deductibles start at a minimum of $500 and operate around $5,000, for construction as well as for contents.

Is Flood Insurance Required by Federal Law?

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has mapped out Special Flood Hazard Areas, which are flood-prone zones where all new development must comply with local building ordinances, and where insurable structures which are bought with secured loans, or built with the aid of federal money or investment, has to carry national flood insurance. Contact FEMA for a copy of this SFHA map covering the area where you live.

When Can I Purchase Flood Insurance?

You are able to make an application for national flood insurance at any given moment, but there is a 30-day waiting period after you have signed and begun paying premiums to the policy before the policy is considered to be in effect.

What Are the Coverage Limits?

Coverage limits for national flood insurance currently stand at $250,000 for residential properties and $500,000 for commercial properties; those constraints comprise around 10 percent policy for a detached garage, which in combination with the principal building cannot exceed the residential or commercial limitation. The limits on materials are 100,000 for residential properties and $500,000 for commercial. Some insurance companies provide Excess Flood Protection that exceeds these policies.

How Do I File a Claim?

You must submit a Proof of Loss, which the adjustor (who’s an independent contractor) can prepare you as a courtesy. This document has to carry damages estimated from the qualified adjustor assigned to a case, and be filed within 60 days of the damage really occurring into the insurance carrier which issued the policy.

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