We all know the saying, April showers bring May flowers, but what happens when the showers don’t stop? Flooding, that’s what!
I like to tell people flooding is considered rising water and can be caused by continuous rainfall, hurricanes, and backed-up or outdated drainage systems. The National Flood Insurance Program established the legal definition of a flood as ‘…a general and temporary condition where two or more acres of normally dry land or two or more properties are inundated by water or mudflow.’
Keep in mind, flood insurance is not automatically included in your homeowners insurance and typically must be purchased separately. Flood insurance is an important policy to consider, especially since flooding is the number one natural disaster in the United States. As if living in Florida with the average rainfall of 49.91 inches for the year and hurricane season always around the corner isn’t enough!
A few items to keep in mind when searching for a flood policy include your coverage, your flood zone and the effective dates.
Your dwelling (home) and contents (personal property) are two separate coverages that are both subject to a deductible in the case of a claim. A replacement cost estimate will be used to calculate the dwelling coverage amount with a maximum of $250,000 for regular flood coverage. If your replacement cost estimate calculated the dwelling to be more than $250,000, you may look into an excess flood policy which will be in additional to the flood policy. Contents coverage also has a maximum coverage amount of $100,000.
Also, it is good to know what flood zone your home is located in. Mortgages will typically require flood coverage if your home is located in a flood zone not marked X. The flood zone X is considered a preferred flood zone and some carriers provide discounted premiums for this flood zone, due to it being considered to be a lower risk compared to flood zones A and V. Keep in mind, the flood zones can change and are continuously being surveyed.
Lastly, it is a good idea to know your flood effective dates of coverage. Flood policies do not become effective until after a 30 day standard waiting period. There are some carriers that offer a 15 day waiting period for preferred flood zones. It is best not to wait to purchase flood insurance, because flood carriers often stop taking new business when there is a major storm brewing and coverage does not take effect immediately.
We hope you stay dry this April and we are happy to help with any additional flood insurance questions you have! Contact us today.