Frequently Asked Flood Questions *
No. Flood damage is not typically covered by a homeowners insurance policy.
No. Federal disaster assistance often comes in the form of a low interest loan to help cover flood damage, not compensation for your losses. Even then, those loans are only available if the president formally declares a disaster.
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.
If you live in a community that participates in the NFIP, you can get flood insurance to cover the contents of your home or business.
Most likely, yes. It's a good idea to buy flood insurance even if you live in a low- or moderate-risk area. Almost 25 percent of all flood insurance claims come from areas with low-to-moderate flood risk. You may qualify for the Preferred Risk Policy (a lower-cost flood insurance policy) that provides contents coverage beginning at $39 per year and building plus contents coverage beginning at $119 a year.
Flooding occurs in low-to-moderate risk areas as well as in high-risk areas. Poor drainage systems, rapid accumulation of rainfall, snowmelt, and broken water mains can all result in flood. Properties on a hillside can be damaged by mudflow, a covered peril under the Standard Flood Insurance Policy.
Structures located in high-risk flood areas have a significant chance (26 percent) of suffering flood damage during the term of a 30-year mortgage. A home mapped in a high-risk area is five times more likely to suffer damage from a flood than a fire in the lifetime of a typical mortgage!
For these reasons, flood insurance is required by law for buildings in high-risk flood areas as a condition of receiving a mortgage from a federally regulated or insured lender.
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:
Yes. The Preferred Risk Policy is available in low-to-moderate risk areas for as little as $119 per year.
Yes! You are eligible to purchase a flood policy with the same coverage you would receive if you lived in a high-risk area. That is, of course, as long as your community participates in the NFIP. And you may qualify for the Preferred Risk Policy (a low-cost flood insurance policy) that provides contents coverage for as little as $39 per year and for as little as $119 per year for both building and contents coverage.
Yes. If you live in an SFHA and have received disaster assistance in the form of a federal grant or loan, you must cover the building for flood insurance for as long as you own it. Should you sell the building, you are required to inform the new owner of the necessity to purchase and maintain flood insurance. Failure to carry flood insurance could result in the denial of future federal disaster assistance.
* (C) National Flood Insurance Program. Used by permission.
© 2014 Selective Insurance Group, Inc.
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