Where Can I Buy Flood Insurance?
Generally speaking, there are two ways to get flood insurance.
National Flood Insurance Program
The first way is through the federal government via the National Flood Insurance Program. The NFIP is a program set up by the Federal Emergency Management Agency ( FEMA ) to provide flood insurance to American homes. In fact, a solid majority of homes covered by a flood insurance policy get that policy from the NFIP.
NFIP policies are typically offered by major home insurance companies, like Farmers or Allstate. When it comes to what NFIP flood insurance covers, such a policy offers two types of coverage: contents coverage and building coverage.
- Contents coverage protects much of the personal property inside your home, including:
- Appliances like washers, dryers, air conditioners, and microwave ovens
Carpets that are installed over wooden floors
Highly valuable items like artwork or jewelry (up to $2,500)
Other personal belongings, such as electronics, clothing, and furniture
Building coverage protects various aspects of your actual home and its structure, including:
- Built-in appliances, like refrigerators, dishwashers, and cooking stoves
Electrical and plumbing systems
Energy equipment, such as solar panels and fuel tanks
Permanently installed features, such as carpeting and cabinetry
Furnaces, water heaters, and well-water tanks and pumps
When it comes to things that NFIP policies do not cover, one thing to remember is that if water damage is caused by something other than flooding, that damage will not be covered by flood insurance. For example, if your home experiences a sewage backup that is not directly caused by a flood-related natural disaster, flood insurance will not cover that damage. Also there are additional exclusions, so things that exist outside of the walls of your home or business, like swimming pools, important papers/currency, walls, or decks, are not typically covered. Neither are additional living expenses or damages caused by the earth moving.
Private Insurance Companies
NFIP provides a generally standardized approach to flood insurance. For anyone who feels that NFIP policies are inadequate or for anyone who has a much larger or expensive property that requires much more extensive coverage, private insurance companies do offer flood insurance coverage.
Unlike NFIP policies, private flood insurance policies have a much more varied range of options when it comes to flood coverage. To figure out the right plan, it may help to contact your insurance agent or an insurance agency so that you can gather more insight into the options available to you and potentially get a flood insurance quote. You could also visit insurance websites to potentially get a quote online.