Since standard home insurance doesn’t cover flooding, it’s important to have protection from floods associated with hurricanes, tropical storms, heavy rains and other conditions that impact the U.S. Flood Insurance is a coverage that is often overlooked when securing a property insurance coverage. Flood insurance is the best way to protect yourself from devastating financial loss. Floods are one of the most prevalent forms of disasters in the United States – just a few inches of water from a flood can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage.
In 1968, Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to help provide a means for property owners to financially protect themselves. The NFIP offers flood insurance to homeowners, renters, and business owners if their community participates in the NFIP. Participating communities agree to adopt and enforce ordinances that meet or exceed FEMA requirements to reduce the risk of flooding. Find out more about the NFIP and how it can help you protect yourself.
It is crucial to review your flood insurance coverage annually as flood zone mappings change from year to year. Making sure that coverage is not only in place but also correct is imperative in the event of a flood. Flood insurance applies to rising water not falling water, which is a common misconception. The Insuramerica team is continually educated on the ever-changing rules and regulations of Flood Insurance.
What is a flood?
Anywhere it rains, it can flood. A flood is a general and temporary condition where two or more acres of normally dry land or two or more properties are inundated by water or mudflow. Many conditions can result in a flood: hurricanes, overtopped levees, outdated or clogged drainage systems and rapid accumulation of rainfall.
Just because you haven’t experienced a flood in the past, doesn’t mean you won’t in the future. Flood risk isn’t just based on history, it’s also based on a number of factors: rainfall, river-flow and tidal-surge data, topography, flood-control measures, and changes due to building and development.
(Special Flood Hazard Area or SFHA)
In high-risk areas, there is at least a 1 in 4 chance of flooding during a 30-year mortgage. All home and business owners in these areas with mortgages from federally regulated or insured lenders are required to buy flood insurance. They are shown on the flood maps as zones labeled with the letters A or V.
(Non-Special Flood Hazard Area or NFSA)
In moderate-to-low risk areas, the risk of being flooded is reduced but not completely removed. These areas submit over 20% of NFIP claims and receive one-third of disaster assistance for flooding. Flood insurance isn’t federally required in moderate-to-low areas, but it is recommended for all property owners and renters. They are shown on flood maps as zones labeled with the letters B, C or X (or a shaded X).
No flood-hazard analysis has been conducted in these areas, but a flood risk still exists. Flood insurance rates reflect the uncertainty of the flood risk. These areas are labeled with the letter D on the flood maps.
Typical Types of coverage
Flood insurance protects two types of insurable property: building and contents. The first covers your building, the latter covers your possessions; neither covers the land they occupy.
Building coverage includes:
- The insured building and its foundation
- The electrical and plumbing system
- Central air conditioning equipment, furnaces, and water heaters
- Refrigerators, cooking stoves, and built-in appliances such as dishwashers
- Permanently installed carpeting over unfinished flooring
Contents coverage includes:
- Clothing, furniture, and electronic equipment
- Portable and window air conditioners
- Portable microwaves and dishwashers
- Carpeting that is not already included in property coverage
- Clothing washers and dryers
The two most common reimbursement methods for flood claims are: Replacement Cost Value (RCV) and Actual Cash Value (ACV). RCV is the cost to replace damaged property. It is reimbursable to owners of single-family, primary residences insured to within 80% of the buildings replacement cost.
All other buildings and personal property (i.e. contents) are valued at ACV, which is the RCV at the time of loss, minus physical depreciation. Personal property is always valued using ACV.
The above description provides a brief overview of the terms and phrases used within the insurance industry. These definitions are not applicable in all states or for all insurance products. Please read your official policy for full details about coverages. If there is any conflict between these definitions and the provisions of the applicable insurance policy, the terms of the policy control.