Water Damage and Flooded Basement

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Friday, August 01, 2014

Flood Insurance

By Sarah Anderson

What is FLOOD INSURANCE? What does it cover? Should I purchase flood insurance? Am I living in a flood zone? Have all your questions answered. See also: related links and informationIn the aftermath of a flood you must take into consideration the financial aspects of restoring you house and your personal belongings.

The expenses can be high and lead to serious debts unless you have flood insurance.

A common myth
"I have a homeowners' insurance policy and therefore I am covered."

The fact
Wrong! A basic homeowners' policy won't cover your flood damage!

The solution
You need flood insurance!

The Coverage

As a homeowner, you can insure your home up to $250,000 and its contents up to $100,000. If you're a renter, you can cover your belongings up to $100,000. As a non-residential property owner, you can insure your building and its contents up to $500,000.

In general, a policy won't take effect until 30 days after you purchase it so don't wait for the next storm. It might be too late to purchase flood insurance just a few days prior to a major storm.

Flood Zones

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has placed more than 19,000 communities in the United States into a category of flood zones. Each community is able to participate in the agency's National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), with premium rates determined by the risks of flooding.

To see if your community participates in NFIP, visit FEMA's Community Status Book.

To indicate the risks in different parts of the country, FEMA has assigned a character from the alphabet to each zone.

To find out which zone applies to you, you can order a flood map from the FEMA's Map Service Center for a nominal charge by calling 1-800-358-9616 or by visiting the FEMA Website.

As a homeowner in a floodplain, it's not so much a question of if a flood will damage your property, but when. That's why the law requires you to have flood insurance.

Related links:
National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Open in a new window

Recommended Reading
Renters Insurance
Homeowners' Insurance

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