Flood Insurance Can Protect You Now But Perhaps Not Forever

Did you know that homeowners insurance doesn’t cover ANY damages or losses attributed to floods, regardless of origin – hurricanes, torrential rains, or tornados. Many don’t realize this until it’s too late, and they’re absorbing losses themselves.

Experts expect our extreme weather patterns of the past two years to continue. So what can homeowners do?

The NFIP

Flood insurance is available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a government program that provides contents and structural coverage through participating insurance companies.

Premiums depend on location and coverage options, providing either structure coverage, contents coverage, or both. Those living in low-to-medium risk areas qualify for Preferred Risk Policies (PRPs). As of October 1, 2013, PRP premiums start at $129 for properties without basements or enclosures.

What’s covered

Depending on your coverage, flood insurance will cover damage to personal belongings as well as structures. However, many types of damage aren’t covered, including those resulting from mold or moisture that could have been prevented, or damage to items outside insured structures, such as swimming pools, trees, and septic tanks.

Flood insurance is required for residents mapped as living in high-risk areas. But because of the increased claims resulting from extreme weather (consider the damage from Hurricane Sandy) re-mapping is underway, and this may change.

Check with your insurance professional for the most recent information.