Flood Insurance: Top 10 Things Every Homeowner Should Know

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Release date: 
February 16, 2007
Release Number: 
1675-010

1. Everyone lives in a flood zone.

  • You don't need to live near water to be flooded.
  • Floods are caused by storms, melting snow, hurricanes, and water backup due to inadequate or overloaded drainage systems, dam or levee failure, etc.

2. Flood damage is not covered by homeowner’s policies.

  • You can protect your home, business, and belongings with flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
  • You can insure your home with flood insurance for up to $250,000 for the building and $100,000 for building’s contents.

3. You can buy flood insurance no matter what your flood risk is.

  • It doesn't matter whether your flood risk is high, medium, or low, you can buy flood insurance as long as your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program. And, it's a good idea to buy even in low or moderate risk areas: almost 25 percent of all flood insurance claims come from low to moderate risk areas.

4. There is a low-cost Preferred Risk Policy for homes in low to moderate risk areas.

  • Homeowners can insure buildings and contents for as little as $180 per year.
  • Business owners can insure buildings and contents for as little as $500 per year.
  • Residential renters can insure contents for as little as $39 per year.

5. Flood insurance is affordable.

  • The average flood insurance policy for a single family, one floor, no basement home in a floodplain zone costs a little more than $500 a year for about $65,000 of coverage for building and contents.
  • In comparison, a $50,000 disaster home loan can cost you more than $240 a month at 4 percent interest over 20 years.

6. Flood insurance is easy to get.

  • You can buy NFIP flood insurance from private insurance companies and agents.
  • Some companies may allow the purchase of flood insurance with credit.
  • You may be able to purchase flood insurance with a credit card.

7. Contents coverage is separate, so renters can insure their belongings too.

  • Up to $100,000 contents coverage is available for homeowners and renters.
  • Whether you rent or own your home or business, make sure to ask your insurance agent about contents coverage. It is not automatically included with the building coverage.

8. Up to a total of $1 million of flood insurance coverage is available for non-residential buildings & contents.

  • Up to $500,000 of coverage is available for non-residential buildings.
  • Up to $500,000 of coverage is available for the contents of non-residential buildings.

9. There is usually a 30-day waiting period before the coverage goes into effect.

  • Plan ahead so you're not caught without flood insurance when a flood threatens your home or business.

10. Federal disaster assistance is not the answer.

  • Federal disaster assistance is only available if the President declares a disaster.
  • More than 90 percent of all disasters in the United States are not declared federal disaster areas. Flood insurance pays even if a disaster is not declared.

FEMA prepares the nation for all hazards and manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, trains first responders, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1...

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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