Your flood insurance policy does not renew automatically, so it is important to ensure your policy does not lapse. Not only would the potential regret and financial consequences of not being covered be devastating, but letting your policy lapse could also mean a higher premium once you reinstate coverage.
High-risk areas are so susceptible to flooding that homes and businesses in these areas with mortgages from federally regulated or insured lenders are required to have flood insurance. Even if you live outside a mapped high-risk area, flood insurance is still recommended. Though your flood risk may be reduced, it is not eliminated.
How do I pay for or renew my policy?
Your insurance company will send you a notice when it's time to renew. FEMA may also mail a reminder letter before your policy expires.
When renewing, take the time to review the following with your agent:
• Your deductibles. Deductibles apply separately to building and contents with different amounts to choose. (Remember to ask your agent if your contents are covered, as building coverage is only for the structure). As with other insurance plans, a higher deductible will lower the premium you pay but will also reduce your claim payment, meaning you will need to cover the difference out of your own pocket. Sometimes a mortgage lender will set a maximum amount for your deductible.
• The extent of your coverage to make sure it's still adequate. Understand What's Covered.
To renew your policy, please contact the insurance agent or insurer who sold you the flood policy to arrange for payment. You must pay for the full year's premium. Don't have your agent's contact information? Call the National Flood Insurance Program's Help Center at 1-800-427-4661.
Some policyholders pay for flood insurance through an escrow account. If you live in a high-risk flood area and have a mortgage, this might be your situation. Discuss this with your lender.
Every year your policy renews, you will receive a copy of the Flood Insurance Claims Handbook, Summary of Coverage, and a loss history for your property. And approximately two months after it renews, you will receive a LETTER from FEMA explaining your flood risk and why and how it may be inpacting the amount you pay for flood insurance.
Why should I renew my policy?
Just because you haven’t experienced a flood doesn’t mean you never will. A quarter of all flood insurance claims are submitted by policyholders in low-to-moderate risk areas, and policyholders in high-risk zones have a 26% chance of experiencing a flood over the life of a 30-year mortgage. And remember, your homeowners insurance typically does not cover floods.
Continuous coverage gives you uninterrupted protection.
Floods can happen anytime, anywhere—to anyone.
An afternoon storm or backed-up storm drains could bring inches of water into your home causing thousands of dollars in damage to walls, floors, and furniture.
Having a policy in force could save you money.
Flood risk often has a lot to do with how much you pay for your flood insurance policy. Most policyholders living in areas where the flood risk has increased can renew at a rate based on their previous flood zone. They are “grandfathered” at the lower zone designation.
Letting your policy lapse could cost you money.
Keep in mind, if you ever allow your flood insurance policy to lapse for either more than 90 days, or twice for any number of days, you may be required to provide an Elevation Certificate and you may no longer be eligible for any discounted rate you have been paying.
Protect your investment—your bank expects you to.
If you live in a high-risk area and have a loan from a federally regulated or insured lender, you are required to renew your flood insurance. When you purchase a home, you accept liability for any damage from fire, wind, hail, theft, or flooding that may occur while you live there.
I don't have flood insurance; how do I get it?
If you're interested in buying flood insurance to protect your property from flood damage, it's a great idea! Learn more about how to purchase a flood policy.
Watch this short informative video that explains how to buy flood insurance for your structure and or personal items, How Can I Buy Flood Insurance?
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