National Flood Insurance Program Flood Insurance Policies
One choice homeowners and renters have for getting flood insurance is through the National Flood Insurance Program ( NFIP ). This program is supported by the federal government and underwrites policies for anyone, regardless of whether they live in a flood zone.
Policyholders of an NFIP flood insurance policy receive coverage limits of $250,000 for building coverage and $100,000 for contents coverage. If excess flood insurance is needed, you can buy additional coverage from private flood insurance companies. The limits for NFIP policies are low and best suited for people who have minimal risk of experiencing flood damage.
For homes in states like Florida and the Carolinas, where flooding occurs every year due to hurricanes and windstorms, NFIP coverage is inadequate. Consider pursuing coverage from a private company or, at the minimum, supplementing your NFIP plan with private insurance.
The NFIP policies are subject to guidelines set forth by the Federal Emergency Management Agency ( FEMA). The government doesn’t service these policies; they just contract with private underwriters. There are nearly 100 companies that service these policies.
Another way to get an NFIP policy is through one of 50 private insurance companies that participate in the Write Your Own ( WYO ) program, which aims to increase the number of properties covered in all areas of the United States. Insurers apply to write and sell these policies, which are fully backed by the government, through their agents.
Some of the companies that participate in WYO include Allstate, Assurant, Farmers, Liberty Mutual, and Metropolitan Property & Casualty. This program has proven effective, as companies in the WYO program sell far more policies than NFIP does on its own. This means more families are protected if their homes or possessions are destroyed by flooding.
One thing to take note of is the 30-day waiting period before NFIP coverage goes into place. If you’re considering applying for a policy, get flood insurance quotes today so that your coverage starts as soon as possible.