Flood damage is not typically covered by homeowners’ insurance policies, so it’s important to purchase a flood insurance policy to protect your investment from floods. Just because you haven’t experienced a flood in the past, doesn’t mean you won’t in the future.
National Flood Insurance Program
The National Flood Insurance Program, or NFIP for short, offers flood insurance, which can be purchased through the insurance agent who handles your homeowners’ insurance policy. Rates are set and no not differ from company to company or agent to agent. These rates depend on many factors, which include the date and type of construction of your home, along with your building’s level of risk.
NFIP flood insurance policies are available to homeowners, renters, condo owners/renters, and commercial owners/renters.
For more information, contact your insurance agent, visit FloodSmart or the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
Building Coverage Includes
- The insured building and its foundation
- The electrical and plumbing systems
- Central air conditioning equipment, furnaces and water heaters
- Refrigerators, cooking stoves and built-in appliances such as dishwashers
- Permanently installed carpeting over unfinished flooring
- Maximum coverage is $250,000
Content Coverage Includes
- Clothing, furniture and electronic equipment
- Portable and window air conditioners
- Portable microwaves and dishwashers
- Carpeting that is not already included in property coverage
- Clothing washers and dryers
- Maximum coverage is $100,000
What's not Covered?
- Damage caused by moisture, mildew or mold that could have been avoided by the property owner
- Currency, precious metals and valuable papers such as stock certificates
- Property and belongings outside of an insured building such as trees, plants, wells, septic systems, walks, decks, patios, fences, seawalls, hot tubs and swimming pools
- Living expenses such as temporary housing
- Financial losses caused by business interruption or loss of use of insured property
- Most self-propelled vehicles such as cars, including their parts
Community Rating System
The National Flood Insurance Program’s Community Rating System is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes communities for implementing floodplain management practices that exceed the federal minimum requirements of the NFIP to provide protection from flooding. In exchange for a community’s proactive efforts to reduce flood risk, policyholders can receive reduced flood insurance premiums for buildings in the community. These reduced premiums reflect the reduced flood risk resulting from community efforts toward achieving the three CRS goals:
- Reduce flood damage to insurable property.
- Strengthen and support the insurance aspects of the NFIP.
- Encourage a comprehensive approach to floodplain management.
The Flood Control District of Riverside County has participated in this program since 2010. Through the annual accreditation process, the District is now at Class 6, which gives residents of unincorporated Riverside County up to a 20 percent discount on their flood insurance. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and local documentation is available at Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District. Also, you can learn more about the NFIP and its Community Rating System at www.floodsmart.gov
if you do not have flood insurance, please call the National Flood Insurance Program to obtain the name of an agent in your area. This program was created by Congress to provide affordable flood insurance. Their toll free number is 1-888-FLOOD29.
By getting flood insurance from the same company offering homeowners insurance, you only have to work with one insurance agency when filing a claim.
You can pay for insurance - in full, by the month, by cash, check, money order, or credit card. In addition, you can also pay premiums through an escrow account established by your mortgage lender.
Facts about Flood Insurance
- There are times when you are required to purchase Flood Insurance
If you buy a house in a designated high-risk area and receive a mortgage loan from a federally regulated lender, your lender must require that you buy flood insurance. If a high-risk area is determined after you buy a house and you receive a mortgage loan from a federally regulated lender, you lender must require that you buy flood insurance. If refinancing or borrowing money to build, repair, reconstruct, or improve a structure in a flood hazard area, your lender must require that you buy flood insurance.
- Flood damage is not covered by homeowners policies
You can protect your home, business, and belongings with flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program. You can insure your home with flood insurance for up to $250,000 for the building and $100,000 for the contents.
- You can buy flood insurance no matter what your flood risk
It doesn't matter whether your risk is high, medium, or low, you can buy flood insurance as long as your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program. It's a good idea to buy even in low or moderate risk areas: almost 25 percent of all flood insurance claims come from low-to-moderate risk areas.
- There is a low-cost policy for homes in low-to-moderate risk areas
The Preferred Risk Policy is available for just over $100 per year. You can insure your home with flood insurance for up to $250,000 for your home and $60,000 for the contents.
- Flood Insurance is affordable
The average flood insurance policy costs little more than $300 per year for about $100,000 of coverage. In comparison, a disaster home loan can cost you more than $300 per month for $50,000 over 20 years.
- Flood insurance is easy to get
You can buy NFIP flood insurance from private insurance companies and agents.
- Contents coverage is separate, so renters can insure their belongings too.
Up to $100,000 contents coverage is available for homeowners and renters. Whether you rent or own your home or business, make sure to ask your insurance agent about contents coverage. It is not automatically included with building coverage.
- Up to a total of $1 million of flood insurance coverage is available for non-residential buildings and contents
Up to $500,000 of coverage is available for non-residential buildings. Up to $500,000 of coverage is available for the contents of non-residential buildings.
- There is usually a 30-day waiting period before the coverage goes into effect.
Plan ahead so you're not caught without flood insurance when a flood threatens your home or business.
- Federal disaster assistance is not the answer.
Federal disaster assistance is only available if the President declares a disaster. More than 90 percent of all disasters in the United States are not Presidentially declared. Flood insurance pays even if a disaster is not declared.
- You can buy flood insurance immediately before or during a Flood.
You can purchase flood insurance at any time. There is a 30-day waiting period after you've applied and paid your premium. There is a 1-day waiting period if the initial purchase of flood insurance is made during the 13-months following a revised flood mapping for a community. The policy does not cover a "loss in progress".
- You can buy flood insurance if your property has been flooded.
You are still eligible after your home, apartment, or business has been flooded.
- The NFIP does offer basement coverage.
The NFIP defines basement as any area of a building with a floor that is below ground level on all sides. Flood insurance covers structural elements, essential equipment, and other basic items normally located in a basement. Flood insurance does not cover finished walls, floors, or ceilings, or personal belongings kept in the basement.
- It makes a difference when your house was built.
Buildings that were constructed prior to the date of the community's first Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) pay an insurance premium based on chargeable rates that are subsidized by tax dollars. Buildings that were built or substantially improved after the issuance of a FIRM are charged actuarially sound insurance rates that fully reflect the building's risk of flooding.