Does my homeowners policy cover flood?
If you are thinking YES because you have a homeowners policy you are incorrect, it is actually the exact opposite. Homeowners policies exclude flood losses. If you have any kind of damage that is caused by flood waters, your homeowners carrier will likely refer you to federal disaster assistance. Federal disaster assistance is declared by the president and it comes in the form of a loan with a small interest rate. So if you have a loss you will still be responsible for the mortgage of the home that you may or may not be able to live in, then in order to have it fixed/replaced you will have another loan on top of that for the repair costs. This is where flood insurance would typically kick in. People unfortunately believe that if they are not near a body of water that they are not in threat and that is a very costly, life altering misconception. Just 1 inch of water can cause thousands of $$$ in damage.
JUST BECAUSE YOU HAVE NOT EXPERIENCED A FLOOD IN THE PAST, DOESN'T MEAN THAT YOU WON'T IN THE FUTURE !
Here are some things that you Need To Know so that you can face a flood or any other storm with confidence and relief knowing that you are not going into it unprotected.
1. Your homeowners policy will not cover any claims caused by a flood loss. This is what it is and why the flood program was formed. Insurance carriers started excluding flood damage from policies and unfortunately no matter where you live flood is an increasing danger that seems to be getting worse every year.
2. "If my home floods, will federal disaster assistance pay for my damages?" No. That is how an insurance policy works, not federal disaster relief. They will give you a loan with a small interest rate.
3. There is no such thing as, "I don't live in a flood zone" -ANYWHERE IT RAINS, IT CAN FLOOD If you live on land, you live in a flood zone. There are two flood zones, SFHA (special flood hazard area) and NON-SFHA- (non-special flood hazard area) Non-SFHA, are not required to purchase flood insurance, while SFHA's are typically required by the mortgage company to purchase or they will purchase one for you.
4. "I do not live in a high-risk area"- You do not need to live near water in order to have a flood. Many things change, rainfall, topography and changes due to building and development. Think about it, if you live in an area where a few new buildings/homes have gone up over the years, where a house now sits, used to be an area of land that would absorb water in the event of heavy rainfall, now that water runs off, somewhere else. A NON-SFHA policy or PRP (preferred risk policy) can be purchased for as low at $350 a year. (that's about 4 nights out to dinner a year that you are sacrificing for the largest investment of your life; YOUR HOME.
5. Is there a low cost policy for homes that are in moderate to low-risk areas- A preferred risk policy or PRP- they are very affordable and worth the investment.
6. "Am I eligible for flood Insurance"?- If you live in a community that participates in the National Flood Insurance Program and follows flood guidelines, then flood insurance will be offered to you.
7. If you purchase a home in a flood zone, you will be forced to carry flood insurance- If you buy a home in a flood zone and you have a mortgage by law, the mortgage company will require you to carry a flood policy. Much like your auto loan company requires you to carry full coverage auto insurance.
8. Why would I need flood insurance if my community has never flooded? Flooding can absolutely happen in low to moderate areas. Poor drainage systems, rapid accumulation of rain, snowmelt and broken or malfunctioning water mains can all result in a flood. Properties on a hillside also have their own risk factors, mud flow is a covered peril on your flood policy. Flood has become the number one cause of loss to homeowners.
9. "Who do I contact for a flood insurance quote"? North Country Agency Insurance is licensed to sell flood insurance