What to Know Before Buying a Flood Insurance Policy

flood insurance experts

We are well into the Spring season now which means many areas of the United States are seeing the raining season hitting them hard. The ground is constantly soaked from the constant rainstorms that move their way through the area and the river levels are rising. Is your business or home protected in the case of a flood? 93% of American homeowners have at least basic homeowners insurance. Floods are the United State’s most common natural disaster. It might be a good idea to ask your agent about flood insurance.

Floods can be both destructive and problematic because of the longevity that they can have. For example, the Mississippi River has been at a major flood stage for over 40 days in the Quad Cities area at the time of this writing. Many local businesses have been closed and areas near the riverfront evacuated because of the flooding. Unfortunately, flood damage is rarely covered under your homeowners or renters policy and one inch of water in a home can cost more than $25,000 in damage. Even if you live away from a body of water, more than 20 percent of flood claims come from properties outside high-risk flood zones. The following are some key points to keep in mind when having a conversation with flood insurance experts.

One of the first things that would be wise to discuss with the flood insurance experts is if you have access to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). This program is not available in all communities, but most locations will have it available. Ask the flood insurance experts if your state and community participate. Knowing your property’s risk can really help decide if flood insurance is mandatory for your property. You will also need to figure out how long it will take your property insurance to go into effect. According to FEMA, “It typically takes 30 days from the day you purchase flood insurance for the policy to go into effect. When purchasing a policy, ask your agent when coverage will start.”

When it comes to real estate insurance, it is very important to know what specifically is covered in your policy. Knowing how much coverage you need and any breaks in price you may be eligible for will also be answered by your agent. If you happen to live in a high risk area for flash floods, you are likely to be required to pay more than those in a low risk area for a flash flood warning. Regardless of the severity of risk in that area, it would be wise to consider purchasing just in case. 98 percent of U.S. counties have been impacted by a flooding event at least once. Even one of the driest spots in America, Death Valley, has had dangerous flash floods. If you have not yet purchased a property, the seller is required to disclose to you whether or not the property has flooded previously.

These are the most common topics to discuss with flood insurance experts when you are talking shop on how covered you are with flood insurance. It normally takes about a month for any agreed on policy to take into effect so it is wise to plan on the coverage beforehand, not necessarily the week of a lot of rain in the forecast. What is good to know is that any water damage that comes from the sky is likely to be covered by your regular home insurance. If hurricane winds destroy your windows and a lot of rain damages your business or home, you are likely covered already. A flood is considered to be any water that comes from the ground or in wave form. Be sure to know the difference and decide if a flood insurance policy is right for your property.