Understanding the flood insurance basics will help dispel any preconceived notions or myths and will put you on the path to choosing the right policy for you and your home. Every homeowner should have flood insurance, too many people have lost everything just because they didn’t think about it or thought they were in a non flood zone. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. The government has created an official website for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to help you avoid making mistakes and assure your smart decisions.
Flood Insurance Basics
The most important thing to understand when trying to learn about flood insurance basics is the standard definition for flood damage: “flood damage is due to an excessively large amount of water around the home and entering the home”.
Reading the fine print you will discover that:
- Maintenance is supposed to be done in order to avoid flooding and water damage.
- Some things are not covered (i.e., certain valuables, vehicles, etc.).
- You have deductibles like in any other insurance policy.
- You should always pay your bill on time, never default or lapse, or else some insurance companies won’t pay.
- The rates for flood insurance depend on several factors. The most common are based on whether your home is situated in a NFSA (Non special flood hazard area) – SFHA (special flood hazard area).
Flood Insurance Myths
Water damage is considered flood damage.
This is the most common mistake, water damage is due to internal issues and mean a whole different type of coverage.
FEMA automatically helps flood victims.
No, to qualify for FEMA benefits you have to be in a flood zone that is also under a declared state of emergency.
The policy is enforced right away.
There is usually 30-day waiting period, at least.
Your homeowner’s insurance policy does not usually cover flood.
Check with your agent!
Flood insurance is available nationwide.
No, you must live in a community that participates in the NFIP. Check FEMA’s website.
When you buy your home, ask about flood zones, and do your research to learn about flood risks and the flood history for your area. Learn to differentiate between flood insurance basics and myths. Also remember, new areas are being flooded every single day – especially due to extreme weather, climate change, and population migration. It’s better to err on the safer side than to be sorry and not have flood insurance when disaster strikes.
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