Our staff wants to help you simplify flood insurance. Below you will find frequently asked questions on everything from coverage to cost with the answers you need. More questions? Contact our staff at 888.754.8299.
- The insured building and foundation
- Electrical and plumbing systems
- Central air-conditioning equipment, furnaces, water heaters
- Refrigerators, cooking stoves, and built-in appliances (such as dishwashers)
- Permanently installed carpeting that is installed over an unfinished floor
- Permanently installed paneling, wallboard, bookcase and cabinets
- Window blinds
- A detached garage (up to 10% of the Building Coverage)
- Other detached buildings (such a gazebo or shed) are not covered. They would need a separate Building Property Policy. Also, if you need more than 10% of the building coverage, you would need to purchase a separate policy.
- Debris Removal
- Personal belongings such as clothing, furniture and electronic equipment
- Portable and window air conditioners
- Portable microwave ovens and portable dishwashers
- Carpets not included in building coverage (not permanently installed, or permanently installed over a finished floor
- Clothes washers and dryers
- Food freezers and the food in them
- Certain valuable items such as artwork and furs (up to $25,000)
- Damage caused by moisture, mildew or mold that could have been avoided by the property owner
- Currency, precious metals and valuables such as stock certificates
- Property and belongings outside of a building such as trees, wells, septic systems, walkways, decks, patios, fences, seawalls, hot tubs and swimming pools
- Living expenses such as temporary housing
- Financial losses caused by business interruption or loss of use of insured property
- Most self-propelled vehicles such as cars and their parts (this would be covered under the comprehensive portion of an auto policy)
The mortgage company only requires building coverage. A flood insurance policy insures your home for replacement cost if:
- The building is a single family dwelling
- The building is your principal residence at the time of loss (you live there at least 80% of the time)
- Your building coverage is at least 80% of the full replacement cost of the building or is the maximum available offered under the NFIP
If you do not meet these requirements, your home is insured for actual cash value (ACV). ACV is the replacement cost value at the time of loss, which is less the value of its physical depreciation. The replacement cost of your home may be higher than the amount of building coverage the mortgage company requires you to carry. Your primary homeowner’s policy should insure your dwelling for the replacement cost. You can use this number to determine how much flood insurance you should have for the building.
There are some exceptions to the typical 30 day waiting period. Below are the exceptions:
- If flood insurance is being purchased in connection with the making, increasing, extending or renewing of your loan.
- If a building has been newly designated in the SFHA and flood insurance is being purchased within the 13-month period following a map revision.
- If flood insurance is required as a result of a lender determining that a loan that does not have flood insurance coverage should be protected by flood insurance.
- If an additional amount of insurance is selected as an option on the renewal bill.
- If a property is affected by flooding on burned Federal land that is a result of, or is exacerbated by, post-wildfire conditions when the policy is purchased within 60 days of the fire containment date.
Flood Zone Questions
Severe repetitive loss property is covered under a contract for flood insurance made available under the NFIP and has incurred flood related damage:
- For which 4 or more separate claims payments have been made under flood insurance coverage with the amount of each claim exceeding $5,000 and with the cumulative amount of such claims exceeding $20,000 or
- For which at least 2 separate claims payments have been made under such coverage, with the cumulative amount of such claims exceeding the market value of the insured structure
A Preferred Risk Policy is a low-cost flood insurance policy available for residential and non-residential buildings located in moderate to low risk areas (B, C, and X zones). The property cannot be in a community that is in the Emergency Program. If one of the following conditions exists within any 10 year period, regardless of any change(s) in ownership, then the building is not eligible for the PRP:
- 2 flood insurance claim payments, each more than $1000; or
- 3 or more flood insurance claim payments, regardless of amount; or
- 2 Federal flood disaster relief payments (including loans and grants), each more than $1000; or
- 3 Federal flood disaster relief payments (including loans and grants), regardless of amount; or
- 1 flood insurance claim payment and 1 Federal flood disaster relief payment (including loans and grants), each more than $1000.
You could opt for only the required coverage (if you have a loan) or you could up your deductible. However, you will want to keep in mind that when you lower your deductible, you are increasing the amount you are willing to pay out of pocket for damages.
You could also do the following:
- Relocate the machinery and equipment that services your building (i.e., electrical, heating, ventilation, plumbing and air conditioning equipment) to an area that is above the base flood elevation.
- Make sure your home has the proper amount of flood opening.
- If you are in a high-risk flood zone, having a basement or sub-grade crawlspace can pay an extra 15-20%. When building, you can save that cost by back‑ filling any excavated areas within the foundation. It can also be done at a later date by using pea-gravel or other suitable material to raise the interior crawlspace floor elevation to the same height or higher than the exterior ‑ finished grade.
- Elevate your home above the base flood elevation. You can save hundreds of dollars for every foot the elevated floor is above the community’s established based flood elevation.
- Relocate your home to an area on your property that has its natural grade above the base flood elevation.
If your property has been changed from a low-risk to high risk during remapping, you can save money with the Grandfather Rule. This is available to property owners who:
- Have flood insurance policies in effect when the new flood maps become effective and then maintain continuous coverage or
- Have built in compliance with the FIRM in effect at the time of construction
Keep in mind that timing is key. The last chance to qualify for grandfathering is to buy or renew a policy before the new FIRM becomes effective. The grandfathered zone can be transferred to the new owner if the building is sold.
Flood Insurance for Business Questions
Flood Insurance for Renters & Condo Owners Questions
Laws & Regulations Questions
This law repeals and modifies certain provisions of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act. The major changes are:
- Lowers the recent rate increases on some policies, prevents some future rate increases and implements a surcharge on all policies. It also repeals some rate changes that have already gone into effect and will provide these policyholders with a refund.
- The law mandates that FEMA develop an installment plan for non-escrowed flood insurance premiums.
- Maximum deductibles are increased.