NATIONAL FLOOD SAFETY AWARENESS WEEK IS THE TIME TO REVIEW
YOUR FLOOD INSURANCE POLICY|
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is pleased to
support The National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA)-sponsored
2008 National Flood Safety Awareness Week, March 17-21.
Floods threaten homes from coast to coast - and they can happen anytime,
anywhere and without warning. The damage from a flood is not covered under a
standard homeowners policy. Before snowmelt and spring rains bring the
potential for flooding, the NAIC suggests all homeowners and renters review
their flood insurance needs.
What is a flood?
A flood is an excess of water (or mud) on land that is normally dry. The
National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) defines flood to be 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 the policyholder’s property) from:
Overflow of inland or tidal waters; Unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff
of surface waters from any source; Mudflow; or Collapse or 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.
What is Flood Insurance?
Flood insurance is a special policy that is federally backed by the NFIP and
available for homeowners, renters and businesses.
The standard flood insurance policy pays for direct physical damage to your
insured property up to the replacement cost or actual cash value (ACV) of
actual damages or the policy limit of liability, whichever is less.
Homeowners: You may purchase flood insurance covering up to $250,000 of
flood damage to your home. A standard flood policy will cover structural
damage, including damage to the furnace, water heater, air conditioner,
floor surfaces (carpeting and tile) and debris clean-up.
The contents of your home are not covered under a standard policy, but for
an additional premium, you also may purchase flood coverage for up to
$100,000 of damage to your personal property.
Coverage for basements, crawlspaces and ground-level enclosures on elevated
homes is limited. If your home has these spaces, be sure to ask your
insurance agent about any restrictions in your coverage.
Renters: Flood is not covered under your basic renters insurance policy.
Talk with your insurance agent about your flooding risks to decide if you
need flood coverage for your belongings.
Business owners: A flood insurance policy coverage will cover up to $500,000
on a non-residential building and its contents.
How Much Does Flood Insurance Cost?
According to Federal Emergancy Management Agency (FEMA), the average
homeowners flood insurance premium is approximately $500 a year.
Premiums for flood insurance will vary depending on your risk level for a
flood loss, the amount of coverage you choose, the type of coverage you need
and your deductible.
You can normally choose different deductibles for building property and
personal property coverage. The deductibles will apply separately to
building property and personal property claims. Your mortgage company can
require that your deductible is no more than a certain amount.
How Do I Buy Flood Insurance?
You can purchase flood insurance for your home or business regardless of
whether the property is in a floodplain. Contact your insurance agent or
company to find out if your community participates in the NFIP. You can also
visit www.floodsmart.gov to get more
information about your flood risk.
Plan Ahead: Flood Insurance has a Waiting Period
It is very important to plan ahead. A flood insurance policy normally will
not go into effect until 30 days after you purchase the policy.
Make a home inventory; i.e., a record of your personal property, such as
clothes, jewelry, furniture, computers and audio/video equipment. Photos and
video of your home, as well as sales receipts and the model and serial
numbers of items, will make filing a claim simpler. In addition, add
insurance information to your inventory information; i.e., the name of your
insurance company and agent, policy numbers and contact information.
For personal safety, identify what storm shelter is available to you and
prepare an evacuation plan.
Make sure you have bottled water, a first aid kit, flashlights, a
battery–powered radio, non–perishable food items, blankets, clothing,
prescription drugs, eyeglasses, personal hygiene supplies and a small amount
If you need to evacuate your home, turn off all utilities and disconnect
appliances to reduce the chance of additional damage and electrical shock
when utilities are restored.
Move all of your important documents to a safe location. Take them with you
when you evacuate or store them in a safe deposit box outside the area.
Take proactive steps to protect your property from loss. Be sure there is no
loose siding on your home and no damaged or diseased trees growing over your
For more information about flood insurance, visit the NFIP Web site at
Get smart about insurance! For more information about auto, home and health
insurance options, and tips for choosing the coverage that is right for you
and your family, go to