How to Find the Best Home Flood Insurance
A Helpful Guide to Flood Insurance for Your Home
Planning to buy home flood insurance? Floods are responsible for the most property damage yearly vis-à-vis any other natural disaster. Here’s another alarming stat, 99% of U.S counties experienced flooding between 1996 and 2019. Since the standard homeowners’ insurance does not offer flood insurance, it’s wise to make this investment regardless of whether you live in a moderate or low-risk flood zone.
How do you choose the best flood insurance for your property needs? Let’s discuss
What Is Home Flood Insurance?
Home flood insurance is a discrete policy covering flood-related damage caused by torrential rain, storm surges, levee dam failure, melted snow, and blocked drainage systems. Two policy options apply: one covers your dwelling, and the other offers additional protection for your belongings.
Dwellings coverage caters to the repair or replacement of building damage. For instance, this insurance policy would cover the costs if your electrical systems suffered water damage. If you buy a contents coverage policy, a.k.a. personal property, the insurers will cover charges for flood-damaged furniture, electronics, and clothing.
How Is Flood Insurance Different from a Homeowners’ Insurance Policy?
Homeowners’ insurance offers coverage for personal liability, which isn’t part of flood insurance coverage. Moreover, this homeowners’ policy only covers insurance perils such as theft, vandalism, and fire. In comparison, home flood insurance is strictly for water damage.
Who Needs Home Flood Insurance?
Generally, residents living in counties at high risk of flooding should buy flood insurance. That said, this doesn’t mean that other property owners don’t require flood insurance coverage. The Federal Emergency Management Agency(FEMA) found that 25 percent of National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) claims are from people residing in low-risk areas.
How To Select the Best Home Flood Insurance
Identify what insurance policy is available
The most standard option to buy flood insurance is using NFIP, a federal plan under FEMA. This policy offers pre-flood mitigation and insurance protection and is available for home and business owners. Another thing, you must live in an NFIP participating community to qualify.
The other option is to seek private flood insurance, especially if you need coverage for a sizeable property. The primary difference is that private flood insurance companies are independent. Due to their direct interest in flood insurance claims, private insurers are more conscientious in their coverage options, giving clients more accurate premiums. Additionally, they have different legal requirements from those under NFIP.
Understand your insurance coverage needs
Two factors can help you identify your coverage requirements.
Mortgage lender’s conditions
If your mortgage requires you to buy flood insurance, the first step is to know your lender’s conditions. Sometimes, you may have to purchase coverage that will cover the remaining loan amount.
Note that the lender’s requirements may not offer total protection. Instead, it may cover dwelling alone. Assuming this is the case, we recommend asking your lender if you can use private flood insurance to meet their conditions.
The flood insurance coverage limits
NFIP offers lower coverage limits than private flood insurance. The limits are $250,000 and $100,000 for your home and contents. This amount is too little for some people to meet their coverage needs.
Getting a supplemental insurance policy called excess flood insurance can help meet this shortfall. Keep in mind that NFIP doesn’t include this policy. Therefore, we recommend talking to an experienced insurance agent to help identify reputable sellers.
You should understand the plan’s limits if you purchase flood insurance under NFIP. For instance, this cover offsets:
- Damage to your property’s structure
- Damage to contents like clothing and furniture
- Valuables with a cap of $2500
NFIP doesn’t cover:
- Outdoor damage, including pools and fences
- Living expenses, e.g., hotel expenses as you wait for your home restoration experts to complete repairs
- Vehicle damage
- Basement contents, especially improvements
3. Get Multiple Quotes from Potential Providers
Request quotes from several insurers. Note that NFIP partners offer standard flood insurance rates, so you only need to find one FEMA-approved insurer to get the payout details. Remember, based on your needs, private flood insurance may be the right option for you.
While it can be more costly, you can do a few things to get an affordable coverage:
- Select a higher deductible
- Reduce flood risks as they might help you get mitigation discounts
- Obtain an elevation certificate
- Compare quotes to see which one is more affordable
Factor in that private insurance covers have a shorter waiting period. The coverage limits are also higher, with some allowing up to $15 million limits.
Find the Best Home Flood Insurance Coverage in Florida
Bearing in mind the hurricane season is here, it would be best to get flood insurance as early as possible. On top of that, include Auto and mobile park insurance. Feel free to contact Coleman Insurance to work with an experienced insurance agent to find the best flood insurance for your home. Call (727) 441-9911 for aa quote for commercial and homeowners’ insurance in Clearwater today.
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