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Flood Insurance

Importance of Flood Insurance

Floods are the number one natural disaster in America. Even if you are not in a high-risk flood zone, your dwelling and contents can suffer damage as a result of heavy rain or other surface runoff water coming into your home or other structures.  This type of loss is typically not covered under a standard homeowners policy; a separate flood insurance policy would need to be in force. It only takes a few inches of water to cost thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars so it is an important policy to consider.

Call our office at 516-922-6500 to speak with a licensed agent.  Please be advised, there is usually a 30-day waiting period from the date of purchase before your flood policy goes into effect.

Image by jim gade

Flood Insurance Coverage

A simplified definition of a flood is an excess of water on land that is normally dry, affecting two or more acres of land or two or more properties.  Flood insurance covers direct physical loss to your structure and contents as a result of a flood.  The following bullet points provide a general overview of what may be covered by a flood insurance policy, but it is not a complete list.  Please note, there is limited coverage available for areas below the lowest elevated floor of a post-FIRM (Flood Insurance Rate Map) building or in a basement.  A basement is any area of a building, including any sunken room or sunken portion of a room, having its floor below ground level on all sides.

  • Building Coverage (excluding areas below the lowest elevated floor):

    • Insured building and foundation

    • Electrical and plumbing systems

    • Central air-conditioning equipment, furnaces and water heaters

    • Refrigerators, cooking stoves and built-in appliances (i.e. dishwashers)

    • Permanently installed carpeting on an unfinished floor

    • Permanently installed paneling, wallboard, bookcases and cabinets

    • Window blinds

    • Debris removal

    • Flood damage clean up​

  • Building Coverage for areas below the lowest elevated floor:

    • ​Foundation walls, anchorage systems and staircases attached to the building

    • Central air conditioners

    • Cisterns and the water in them

    • Electrical outlets, switches and circuit-breaker boxes

    • Fuel tanks and the fuel in them, solar energy equipment and well water tanks and pumps

    • Furnaces, water heaters, heat pumps and sump pumps

  • Contents Coverage (excluding areas below the lowest elevated floor):

    • Personal belongings such as clothing, furniture and electronic equipment

    • Curtains

    • Portable and window air conditioners

    • Portable microwave ovens and portable dishwashers

    • Carpeting not included in building coverage

    • Clothes washers and dryers

    • Food freezers and the food in them

    • Certain valuable items such as artwork, furs, and jewelry (up to $2,500)

  • Contents Coverage for areas below the lowest elevated floor:​

    • Clothes washers and dryers

    • Food freezers and the food in them (excluding refrigerator freezer compartments)

    • Installed portable and window air conditioners

Image by Wade Austin Ellis

FEMA Risk Rating 2.0

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”) is updating the National Flood Insurance Program’s (“NFIP”) risk rating system through a new pricing methodology called Risk Rating 2.0​.  Historically, FEMA has assigned flood insurance premiums based on the flood zone a home was located in​ but now will now assign flood insurance premiums based on the value of a home and the unique flood risk for their specific property (based on specific characteristics of their home).​

Private Flood Insurance

Private flood insurance is underwritten, backed and sold by private, for-profit companies as opposed to the federal government program.

Advantages of Private Flood:

  • Premiums may be more competitive

  • Higher coverage limits on building and contents offered

  • Replacement Cost on contents may be available versus Actual Loss Sustained (depreciation considered)

  • An Elevation Certificate may not be required

  • Option to insure Other Structures

  • Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) coverage 

  • Loss of Use Coverage offered

  • Business Income Coverage offered

  • Shorter waiting periods

  • Private market funding versus government funding

Disadvantages of Private Flood:

  • NFIP does NOT consider private flood insurance continuous coverage

  • Lose Grandfathering with NFIP

  • 30 day waiting period to return to NFIP

Flood Insurance Blog Posts

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