Q. Can I buy flood insurance if I live in a high-flood-risk area?
A. You can buy National Flood Insurance no matter where you live if your community participates in the NFIP, except in Coastal Barrier Resources System (CBRS) areas. Mortgage companies actually require borrowers whose property is located within a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) to purchase flood insurance as a condition of receiving a federally insured mortgage. There is an exemption for conventional loans on properties within the CBRS areas.
Q. Is it easy to buy flood insurance?
A. Simply contact Carriage Insurance and ask for a flood insurance quote. We will be happy to assist you in adding this protection to your property and answer any questions that you may have.
Q. Am I required to carry flood insurance?
A. Not necessarily. If you have a federally insured mortgage and live in a high risk flood zone, the mortgage company will require flood insurance to secure your loan. Or if you live in a high-risk-flood zone and have received federal disaster assistance after a flood, you will be required to purchase and maintain flood insurance until your loan is paid off. In this case, if you don’t buy flood insurance and another flood damages your property, a request for federal disaster assistance could be denied.
Q. What does flood insurance cover?
A. With a standard flood policy you can protect damage to your building, its contents or both. Depending on your needs, you may decide to insure both to protect:
● Structural elements like walls, floors, fixtures and equipment
● Contents like furniture, wall and floor coverings and appliances
● Personal items like clothing, televisions, audio equipment
Q. Can I buy flood insurance immediately before or during a flood?
A. You can purchase flood insurance at any time, but there is a waiting period of 30 days after you have applied and paid the premium before the policy is effective. There are a couple of exceptions:
1) If the initial purchase of flood insurance is in connection with the making, increasing, extending or renewing of a loan, there is no waiting period. The coverage will be effective at the time of the loan as long as the payment of premium is made at or prior to loan closing.
2) If the initial purchase of flood insurance is made during the 13-month period following the effective date of a revised flood map for a community, there is a 1-day waiting period. This only applies where the Flood Insurance Rage Map (FIRM) is revised to show the building to be in a SFHA when it had not been in a SFHA.
The policy does not cover a “loss in progress” defined by the NFIP as a loss occurring as a 12:01am on the first day of the policy term. In addition, you cannot increase the amount of insurance coverage you have during a loss in progress.
Q. Doesn’t my homeowners insurance cover flooding? Why do I need a flood policy too?
A. Most homeowners policies do not cover damage caused by flooding. Unfortunately, many homeowners do not find out until it is too late that their homeowners’ policies do not cover flooding. Check your policy. If it does not cover flood damage, you should consider adding a flood policy. National Flood Insurance protects your home and belongings and is purchased in addition to a homeowners’ insurance policy.
Q. Is flood insurance only available for homeowners?
A. Flood insurance is available to protect homes, condominiums, apartments and non-residential buildings including commercial structures.
Q. How can I save money on flood insurance costs?
A. Flood insurance rates are established by the federal government and all companies offering flood coverage will use these rates to determine your cost. You may be able to save money if you live in an area that has a low to moderate risk of flooding. If you qualify as a preferred risk and/or you choose higher deductibles you can lower your flood premium. If you live in an area that participates in the NFIP Community Rating System (CRS mitigation) you can also save on flood insurance. When costs are the same, a good way to get more value for your money is to choose a company that provides you with a higher level of service. Carriage Insurance represents excellent insurance carriers who will do just that. Let us help protect your property and provide some peace of mind.
Q. I don’t live in a high-flood-risk zone, so why purchase flood insurance?
A. Between 20-25% of the NFIP’s claims come from outside high-flood-risk areas. The NFIP’s Preferred Risk Policy, starting at just over $100 per year is designed for residential properties located in low-to-moderate-flood risk zones. So, it is a great idea to have flood insurance to protect your property.
Q. How do I purchase National Flood Insurance?
A. Carriage Insurance sells NFIP flood insurance through many of our reputable insurance carriers and it is backed by the federal government.
Q. Does NFIP offer any type of basement coverage?
A. Some. The NFIP defines a basement as any area of a building with a flood that is below ground level on all sides. While flood insurance does not cover basement improvements, such as finished walls, floors or ceilings, or personal belongings that may be kept in the basement, such as furniture and other contents, it does cover structural elements, essential equipment and other basic items normally located in a basement. Many of these items are covered under building coverage and some are covered under content coverage.