Flooding isn’t covered under homeowner’s insurance policies. Unfortunately, while you may assume that flood insurance may be purchased as an endorsement to your homeowner’s policy, that isn’t the case. Standalone flood insurance must be purchased from an insurance company associated with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). This partnership is between the private insurance industry and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The structure of your Florida home and your belongings within it can both be protected under flood insurance. If you live in a community that takes part in the National Flood Insurance Program, you can purchase flood insurance. This program is made up of 19,000 communities across the country. Specific flood plan management methods must be adhered to for communities to belong to this program.
Should You Get Flood Insurance in South Florida?
Residents of areas in Florida that aren’t at a high risk for flooding may still benefit from buying flood insurance. FEMA statistics state that a quarter of the nation’s total flood insurance claims are from low-to-moderate flood risk areas. Storms, hurricanes, snow, drain problems, and other issues can lead to severe flooding even if you live far from any bodies of water.
If you live in a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) area in Florida, flood insurance is worth your consideration. For home-buyers moving to high flood risk areas, it’s required to have flood insurance to get a federally-backed mortgage.
Purchasing Flood Insurance
To buy flood insurance in Ft. Lauderdale and other areas throughout Florida, contact your homeowner’s insurance agent for help. Oftentimes, the agent will be able to devise a flood insurance policy for your needs. Additionally, you’ll benefit from having both your homeowner’s and flood insurance provided by the same company.
If we at John Galt Insurance aren’t able to provide you with a flood insurance policy, call the NFIP Telephone Response Center at 1-888-CALLFLOOD, extension 45.
Coverage and Cost of Flood Insurance
As aforementioned, both the structure and contents of your home can be covered under a flood insurance policy. Up to $250,00 of coverage can be bought for the physical building; up to $100,000 of coverage can be bought for the contents.
Know that flood insurance doesn’t provide all-encompassing coverage. For instance, basement damage after a flood may be covered to some extent. But, not all types of damage will be covered under the policy (such as sewer backups) unless they result directly from a flood.
The price of flood insurance ranges based on location. In areas at a low risk for floods, premium costs can be lowered by buying a policy with less extensive coverage than may be needed in a high-risk area.
Other Flood Insurance Details
There are numerous details to note about flood insurance, including:
- Flood insurance can be bought at any time by residents of NFIP communities, excluding periods of imminent flooding (i.e. when a hurricane has been forecasted).
- A 30-day waiting period typically applies before coverage goes into effect.
- Residents of communities at high risk for flooding can still purchase flood insurance so long as the area is an NFIP participant.
- Flooding from wind-drive rain and hail damage aren’t covered under flood insurance, but your homeowner’s insurance policy will typically provide coverage in these instances.
- Some types of basement damage from flooding are covered under flood insurance, but not all. However, homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover basement flooding at all, so flood insurance is your best option to cover related expenses.
- Flood insurance will typically cover furnaces, hot water heaters, foundation elements, stairways, appliances, and oil or natural gas tanks.
- It typically won’t cover structures including finished walls, floors, and ceilings, as well as personal possessions.