Prevent catastrophic damages and financial loss when your property floods. Knowing whether or not to acquire flood insurance could save you from months of repairs and the disruption of your life.
insurancepublicadjustersofgeorgia.com gathered information about when flood insurance is required for your property, how it differs from homeowners insurance, and how to purchase it.
Do I Need Flood Insurance?
If it can rain where your property is located, it can flood. Purchasing flood insurance should be considered by every property owner for the protection and peace of mind it provides. However, some circumstances may require flood insurance to be purchased:
1 – If Your Property Is Located in a High-Risk Flood Area – You may be required to obtain and maintain flood insurance if your property is located in an area considered high-risk for flooding.
Use the interactive map provided by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) at msc.fema.gov/portal/home to assess whether your property is in a high-risk zone or not.
To use this resource, enter your property’s address, the name of the city, or the latitude and longitude, then click “Search.” You will be provided a number for the map with your selected area and the date it was last updated. The key to the map will appear beneath it, and you can print the map, download it to your device, or share the page to a variety of social media platforms.
2 – If You Have Been A Recipient of Disaster Assistance – You may be required to maintain flood insurance if your property is located in a high-risk flood area and have received any of the following:
• FEMA grants
• Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration
• Any other assistance allocated by the Federal Government for disaster relief
Without maintaining flood insurance, you may become ineligible for any future federal emergency grants, loans, or disaster aid.
3 – If Your Property Has a Mortgage – If your property is located within a high-risk flood area with a government-backed mortgage, you are required to maintain flood insurance.
For those properties outside high-risk areas, your lender may require you to maintain flood insurance even when it is not federally required.
How Are Homeowners Insurance and Flood Insurance Different?
Homeowners and flood insurance are equally powerful in helping you protect your property, but they serve very different purposes:
Flood Insurance – A flood insurance policy assists you when flooding occurs from a rising river, storm surge, or rising rainwater. Flood insurance policies are government-issued and can be required by the federal government or your lender depending on the region in which your property is located.
Homeowners Insurance – This policy assists you in recovering losses from flooding caused by a pipe burst, appliance malfunctions, accidental overflows, hole in the roof, etc. Homeowners insurance policies are issued by private carriers.
Homeowners insurance policies do not cover damages from rising outside water. However, if the storm bringing flooding conditions damages your property’s roof, allowing water in, you can activate your homeowners policy for the repair of these and related damages. For more info on homeowners insurance and the covered disasters, visit insurancepublicadjustersofgeorgia.com/is-your-homeowners-insurance-enough-recover-disaster/
How Do I Purchase Flood Insurance
National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policies can be purchased with the assistance of insurance agents throughout the country. You can find a list of participating Write Your Own (WYO) Program insurance companies, or to get a referral call the NFIP Referral Call Center at 888-379-9531.
NFIP flood insurance policies may only be purchased for properties within NFIP participating communities. You can look up your community’s participation in the National Flood Insurance Program community status book, found at fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program-community-status-book
Standard premium rates are set by FEMA for those in low and moderate-risk areas that buy federal flood insurance. Those rates do not change regardless of where the policy is purchased.
Further questions regarding the National Flood Insurance Program should be directed to their help center by dialing 800-427-4661.
Private Flood Insurance Policies – Some insurers offer flood insurance as an addition or rider policy on homeowners coverage. Private flood insurance premiums may be lower than federal premiums. They may provide better coverage in the event of relocating during reconstruction and repairs.
Why Do I Need an NFIP Policy?
In this article, you discovered how to determine when flood insurance is required for your property, how it is different from a homeowners insurance policy, and how to purchase flood insurance.
By purchasing flood insurance, you are protecting your property against the threat of flooding by rising waters and providing peace of mind that you can recover from such an event.
When you fail to adequately insure your property against floodwaters, you leave yourself vulnerable to significant financial and property loss.
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