Even if you live in an area that has never flooded you still have some level of risk. It only takes a few inches of flood water to cause significant damage to your home. Homeowner, condo, renter and business policies don’t cover damage caused by flooding. The only way to have protection is to purchase flood insurance. Contact us to obtain a custom quote for flood insurance.
causes of floods
You don’t need to live next to a river, lake or coastal area to be the victim of a flood. While the risk of flood varies depending on the area, often overlooked causes of flooding include:
- Heavy rain
- Inadequate drainage systems
- Winter storms and nor’easters
- Hurricanes and tropical storms
- Snow melt
- Failed dams or levees
- Construction changing topography
what is a flood?
The National Flood Insurance Program defines a flood as “a general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land area or of two or more properties (at least one of which is your property) from:
- Overflow of inland or tidal waters;
- Unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source; mudflow; or collapse of subsidence of land along the shore of a lake or similar body of water as a result of erosion or undermining caused by waves or currents of water exceeding anticipated cyclical levels that result in a flood as defined above.”
what is covered by flood insurance – and what’s not
Generally, physical damage to your building or personal property “directly” caused by a flood is covered by your flood insurance policy. For example, damages caused by a sewer backup are covered if the backup is a direct result of flooding. However, if the backup is caused by some other problem, the damages are not covered by flood insurance. Instead you need to purchase a special endorsement on your home policy called "water backup and sump overflow".
For more detailed information about flood insurance and what's covered, read the National Flood Insurance Program Summary of Coverage
30-day waiting period
In most cases, a 30-day waiting period applies before the policy becomes effective. Don’t wait until a threat presents itself to purchase protection. The only exceptions to this wait period are:
- if a lender requires flood insurance in connection with making, increasing, extending or renewing a loan
- if a flood map revision requires an additional amount of insurance
- if a lender determines that a loan that doesn't currently have flood insurance coverage needs to have flood coverage
don't assume you don’t need flood protection
Consider these facts:
- Floods and flash floods happen in all 50 states.
- Floods are the #1 natural disaster in the United States.
- 20 to 25 percent of all flood insurance claims are filed in low- to moderate-risk areas.
- There is a 26 percent chance of flooding during a 30-year mortgage, compared to a 9 percent chance of fire for buildings in high-risk flood areas.
- 90% of floods aren’t declared federal disasters leaving the full cost to rebuild up to the home or business owner. Flood insurance protects you whether or not a disaster is declared.
- From 2008-2012, the average flood claim amounted to nearly $42,000.
- In 2012, the average flood insurance policy premium was about $650 per year.
- Homeowners in low- to moderate-risk areas may be eligible for the Preferred Risk Policy with flood insurance premiums starting as low as $480 a year for $250,000 in coverage. Premiums for condominium and renter flood insurance are less.
- In 2012, The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) paid more than $7.7 billion in flood insurance claims to all policyholders.
- From 2003 to 2012, total flood insurance claims averaged nearly $4 billion per year.
purchasing flood insurance
You cannot purchase flood insurance directly through the federal government. Flood insurance can only be purchased through an insurance agent. For more detailed information about flood insurance, visit the official website of the National Flood Insurance Program, www.floodsmart.gov
NOTE: This information is only a general description of the available coverages and is not a statement of contract. All coverages are subject to all policy provisions and applicable endorsements. Some coverage may be subject to individual insureds meeting underwriting qualifications and to availability within a state. For further information contact a Murphy Insurance Agency Associate.