Many property owners often have misconceptions about flood insurance, such as whether they can get it, when they can buy it, and how much it costs.
Here are some of the most common myths and facts about flood insurance and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP):
Myth: You can’t buy flood insurance if you live in a high-risk flood area.
Fact: You can buy federal flood insurance no matter where you live if your community participates in the NFIP.
Myth: Disaster assistance is the same as flood insurance.
Fact: Without flood insurance, most residents must pay out of pocket or take out loans to repair and replace damaged items. Federal assistance is not always available and is not enough to get you back to your pre-disaster condition.
Myth: Get the amount of flood coverage you can afford now.
Fact: Ask your insurance agent to quote you different levels of flood insurance coverage.
Myth: Renters can’t get flood insurance.
Fact: Renters can get contents coverage to be able to replace belongings.
Myth: Not every flood zone has some flood risk.
Fact: Flood insurance is needed and available in all flood zones.
Myth: You can’t buy flood insurance immediately before or during a flood.
Fact: You can purchase flood coverage at any time. However, don’t wait, because policies typically take 30 days to go into effect. There are a few exceptions that reduce or eliminate the waiting period. Read about them at https://www.floodsmart.gov/flood-insurance-cost/terms.
Myth: Homeowners insurance policies cover flooding.
Fact: Unfortunately, many do not find out until it is too late that their homeowners policy does not cover flooding.
Myth: Flood insurance is available only for homeowners.
Fact: Renters and business owners can get flood insurance too.
Myth: Only residents of high-risk flood zones need to insure their properties.
Fact: More than 40% of NFIP claims in the last five years come from outside the high-risk area. If you live in an area of minimal flooding, you may qualify for a low-cost Preferred Risk Policy.
Myth: Federal flood insurance can be purchased only directly through the NFIP.
Fact: The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) partners with more than 60 private insurance companies to sell and service flood insurance policies. If you don’t have an insurance company or if your insurance agent does not sell flood insurance, use the NFIP insurance provider locator to find a provider near you.
Myth: Wind-driven rain is considered flooding.
Fact: While flood insurance policies specifically exclude wind and hail coverage, most homeowners’ policies include this coverage. Rain entering through wind-damaged windows or doors or holes in walls or the roof resulting in standing water or puddles is considered windstorm rather than flood damage. Federal flood insurance typically covers water that comes up from the bottom and enters your home from outside.
Speak to a Community Education and Outreach (CEO) specialist by calling: 833-FEMA-4-US or 833-336-2487 or visit CEO’s web page for publications you can use as guides for your recovery: https://fema.connectsolutions.com/lamit/ or https://fema.connectsolutions.com/la-es-mit/ for Spanish. These specialists provide information on how to repair and rebuild safer and stronger after a disaster.