How to Buy a Flood Insurance Policy
Not so long ago, you didn’t have much choice about where you bought flood insurance—the federal government ’s National Flood Insurance Program ( NFIP ) was the only option.
However, the NFIP launched a Write Your Own Program that introduced private flood insurance providers as an option in 1983.
Now, you have different paths to get coverage. But how and where you buy flood insurance can depend on your living situation. Homeowners, renters, and business owners have different needs and coverage options to consider when buying a policy.
Homeowners looking for flood insurance should get a policy that has both building property coverage and contents coverage. That way, if disaster strikes, the policy protects the structure of the house and personal property.
If you’re buying a home in a high-risk flood area, your lender can require flood insurance. Your lender may have a list of recommended flood insurance providers for you to review if you’re not sure where to start.
But you can get a policy even if your lender doesn’t require it or if you’ve lived in the home for years.
In that case, contact your current homeowners insurance agent to ask about your options. They may participate in the NFIP or offer a private flood insurance policy.
Flood insurance is almost never required for renters. However, standard renters insurance does not include flood coverage.
If you’re a renter, your flood policy doesn’t need to include building coverage. Instead, your landlord is responsible for insuring the structure of the building. But having your furniture, clothing, electronics, and other belongings protected by flood insurance can be a relief.
Your renters insurance provider may offer an endorsement for flood coverage at an extra cost. You may also buy a policy from the NFIP.
Natural disasters can be devastating to businesses. Commercial coverage typically includes lightning and wind damage, but it does not include flood damage —even if a hurricane caused the flooding.
Whether you run a business out of your home or from a separate location, you should consider buying flood insurance.
Business owners can get flood insurance coverage from private insurance companies or the NFIP.