Flooding can occur at any time you have a heavy period of rain. A standard home insurance policy covers water damage that originates inside your home as a result of broken water or sewer pipes. It does not cover any damage that results from sources outside the home, such as blocked storm sewers in the street or even flooding that occurs as a result of broken water pipes belonging to the town or city. Heavy rain causes a build up of water on your property that can leak in through basement walls and any rivers or streams in the vicinity to overflow their banks.
When you take out flood insurance on your property, the insurance provider makes use of flood insurance maps to determine the degree of risk of flooding for your location. The higher this risk, the more expensive your flood insurance will be.
Most home owners do not have flood insurance included in their home insurance policies. For this reason, Congress brought in the National Flood Insurance Program in 1968. This program is designed to assist homeowners with the expenses of the clean up when a flood occurs in a region. This program provides cost-effective flood insurance to people living in areas that are prone to flooding. However, in order to take advantage of the insurance, your community must be part of the program and agree to adopt and enforce the requirements of FEMA in trying to prevent the occurrence of floods.
FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) is the agency responsible for the administration of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). If your community is part of the program, you can purchase this insurance through the same insurance provider as you standard home insurance policy. It also applies to renters and owners of condominiums as well as business owners. The rates of the insurance policy do depend on the age of your home and the type of materials used in its construction and the level of risk involved for the possibility of being damaged by flood.
As part of flood insurance under the NFIP, you have coverage on your home and its contents. You can also choose from Cash Actual Value, which means that the cost you paid for the home is subject to depreciation, or Replacement Value, which means you will get the amount of money you need to replace the home and its contents at the current prices on the market.
Under the NFIP, building coverage includes the following:
– the home itself
– appliances, such as stoves and refrigerators and dishwashers that have been installed
– furnace, water heaters and central air-conditioning
– the wiring and plumbing systems
– any carpeting that has been installed permanently over unfinished flooring
Under the contents category, you can receive compensation for losses of:
– clothing and furniture
– electronic equipment
– draperies and window hardware
– portable air conditioners
– window air-conditioners
– portable appliances, such as microwaves and dishwashers, washers and dryers
-carpeting that is not included as part of the standard homeowner’s policy
It is vital that you read the fine print of the policy to make sure you do have the coverage that you need. The rates of flood insurance vary from one provider to another so it is in your best interests to shop around and request free quotes before you make your final decision.