Understand Your Flood Risk: Know That Sewer Back Up Insurance is Not the Same as Flood Insurance

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Release date: 
October 18, 2011
Release Number: 
4023-020

WINDSOR, Conn. -- Flooding is the most common and costliest natural disaster in the United States each year. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) encourages Connecticut residents to learn about their flood risk and understand the different types of flood insurance coverage available.

Most homeowners’ insurance policies do not cover flood damages

Most homeowners’ insurance policies do not cover flood damages. Homeowners, business owners and renters in communities that participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) can purchase policies or riders to protect property and contents. Policies average about $570 a year and can start as low as $129.

Special Flood Hazard Areas

Homeowners within a Special Flood Hazard Area have a 26 percent chance of experiencing flood damage over the course of a 30-year mortgage. Those individuals are required to purchase insurance for the life of the mortgage if the mortgage is funded through a federally-regulated lender. But flooding can occur anywhere; homeowners are encouraged to learn about their risk even in lower-risk areas. In those areas, certain preferred risk policies can be available at lower premiums.

Sewer backup insurance

Sewer back up insurance may be necessary to cover damages resulting from backup of sewer and drains. Sewer backup insurance, coverage for damages caused by backup through sewer and drains, is available on most homeowner and commercial policies, usually as an additional rider. There may be a limit on coverage and a separate deductible. Sewer backup insurance may or may not also cover damage due to sump pump failure or power interruption and does not cover damage from surface water or foundation seepage. An average policy, which covers $5,000-$10,000, costs $75-$150 per year. Sewer backup insurance may not be available in high risk flood hazard areas.  

Learn about your flood risk

Twenty-five percent of all flood insurance claims come in areas with minimal flood risk.

Flood risks vary from homeowner to homeowner, and it is the responsibility of every homeowner to learn about their individual flood risk. To learn whether they require flood insurance, individuals may contact a local insurance agent. Knowing your relative flood risk level can help you assess your risk of financial loss. Once you understand your risk, you can talk with your agent to establish a coverage amount that's right for you.

Online resources are available for homeowners to understand their individual flood risk.

Flood risk profile indicator: To access a one-step flood risk profile indicator through which homeowners can rate their flood risk, estimate insurance premiums and find an agent, visit: www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/pages/infoPacketMailRequest/infoPacketMailRequest.jsp 

To determine flood risk and locate local agents, homeowners can follow this link to enter their location information: www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/pages/landing_pages/landing0000_1.jsp

Maps: To identify whether a property is included on a FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map, visit: www.fema.gov/hazard/map/firm.shtm.

For the latest information about scheduled flood map updates, homeowners can enter their zip code on the following web page: www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/pages/flooding_flood_risks/map_update_schedule.jsp

More information

Phone: For more information, call the NFIP r...

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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