What you need to know about flood insurance in the USA
Recent historical storms remind us that hurricanes are a constant hazard to Florida residents. High winds, storm surges and floods have the potential to cause hundreds of millions, and even billions of dollars in damages each year. A National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policy is one of the best tools available to protect your home, business and property.
Homeowner insurance policies do not cover flood damage and there is no guarantee that federal disaster aid will be available when a flood occurs.
A NFIP flood insurance policy is your best protection against flood losses. The deadline for a new NFIP policy to go into effect is 30 days.
To qualify for flood insurance, your home or business must be located in a community that has adhered to the NFIP and has agreed to adopt and enforce stringent floodplain management rules and regulations that meet or exceed FEMA’s requirements to reduce risks and consequences of severe flooding.
In exchange for efforts to reduce the flood risk of a community, insureds may receive reduced premiums from flood insurance for buildings in the community.
You can find out if your community is one of more than 22,000 communities that have implemented floodplain management measures and participate in the NFIP by visiting: https://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program-community-status- book
Make sure against future losses
If your residence or business is located on a floodplain or suffered flood damage in the event of a major disaster and you needed federal help, you may be at risk of future recurring losses.
Real estate owners who receive federal disaster aid should get flood insurance in the address of the property, even if the damaged property has been replaced with a new one. If you sell your home, federal law requires new homeowners to be told that the property must maintain flood insurance. Often, an existing flood insurance policy can be transferred to a new owner without lapse in coverage.
If you are a renter and receive the help of federal disasters, flood insurance coverage must be maintained for as long as you live in the rented property damaged by the flood. The flood insurance requirement is revoked when you move out of the property.
Protection for your home and property
Flood insurance is available to homeowners, business owners and renters. The policies provide coverage up to $ 250,000 dollars for homeowners, up to $ 100,000 dollars for personal property and up to $ 500,000 dollars each for commercial content and repairs on the property.
Flood insurance protects two types of property. The first covers his property, the second covers his property. None covers the terrain they occupy.
The coverage of the property includes:
• The insured building and its foundation;
• The electrical system and plumbing;
• Central air conditioning equipment, ovens and water heaters;
• Refrigerators, cookers and built-in appliances, such as dishwashers;
• Carpet permanently installed on unfinished floors.
The coverage of goods includes:
• Clothing, curtains, furniture and electronic equipment;
• Handheld items such as; air conditioners for windows, microwaves and dishwashers;
• Carpeted is not included in the property’s coverage.
How to get the coverage you need
The NFIP is administered by FEMA, which works directly with more than 80 property and casualty insurance companies to provide flood insurance to homeowners, renters and business owners. To find an insurance agent visit: fema.gov/wyo_company.
Fees are set at the national level and do not change from business to business or from agent to agent. These rates depend on many factors, including the date and type of construction of your property, along with the level of risk of your property.
We recommend that owners who already have flood insurance policies verify their policies annually, make updates as needed, and make sure premiums are paid.
For more information or to find an insurance agent near you who sells flood insurance, visit floodsmart.gov, or call toll-free at 1-888-356-6329 (TTY 1-800-427-5593). Multilingual telephone operators are available (for Spanish, press key 2).
If you’re interested in purchasing flood insurance, your homeowners, renters, or business insurance agent may be able to help you. You can also contact the NFIP Help Center at 800-427-4661.
Flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States, affecting every state. Flooding can be caused by storms, dams or levees breaking, new development changing how water flows above and below ground, snowmelt and much more.
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