Most property insurance does NOT cover flooding. The federal government runs the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which issues flood insurance policies. Even if you have homeowners, renters, condo, landlord, mobile home or business insurance, you may need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy to be protected from flood damage. Flood Insurance is federally mandated which means the premium for a flood insurance policy is predetermined and should always be the same if accurately underwritten. It is rated in several different ways. The main factors are the flood zone and the actual elevation of the home. Flood zones are identified by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) as either low, moderate, or high-risk areas. In some cases, you may be in a low risk area and the cost of the flood insurance may be extremely inexpensive. If you live in a medium to high-risk area, you will need an elevation certificate in order to receive an accurately rated policy. Here in Broward County, if you live in a B, C, or X flood zone, you are not required to carry flood insurance. If you live in any other flood zone and carry a mortgage on your home, you will be required to carry flood insurance by the mortgagee.
A flood insurance policy can help protect your house, condo, apartment, mobile home or even your business. Most flood insurance policies can include three types of coverage: building coverage, contents coverage and replacement cost coverage. Each of these coverage options offers different kinds of protection.
- Building coverage: This coverage protects the physical structure of your home or non-residential property.
- Content Coverage: This coverage covers your belongings—the items inside your home. Some examples include clothing, furniture, microwaves and grills.
- Replacement cost coverage: This coverage helps reimburse you for the cost of replacing your home.
Replacement cost coverage is only available to owners of single-family, primary residences that are insured to within 80 percent of the total replacement cost1.
Your flood insurance could also help cover the cost of items, like sandbags, used to protect your property from the imminent danger of a flood. Contents coverage and replacement cost coverage are not included in all polices.
An insurance limit is the highest amount your policy will pay for a covered loss. If you have damage or losses over the amount of your policy limit, you are responsible for those costs. The NFIP offers the following maximum limits for most flood insurance policies:
- Building coverage can typically insure your residential building’s structural elements up to $250,000, or your non-residential building at up to $500,0002.
Replacement coverage may be available for single-family, primary residences.
- Contents coverage can typically insure your belongings at up to $100,000 for residential policies and up to $500,000 for non-residential policies. Contents are covered for actual cost value, which is the value of the item at the time it’s lost—not the item’s purchase price. Replacement cost coverage is not available for contents.
- 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
Coverage is limited in basements regardless of zone or date of construction. It’s also limited in areas below the lowest elevated floor, depending on the flood zone and date of construction. These areas include:
- Crawlspaces under an elevated building
- Enclosed areas beneath buildings elevated on full-story foundation walls that are sometimes referred to as “walkout basements”
- Enclosed areas under other types of elevated buildings
Flood insurance coverage can help you protect your property and your belongings. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) determines coverage and premiums, but when you purchase a flood policy from AVP Insurance, you’ll get the support of a knowledgeable agent and quality service.
If you want to cover your property for more than the NFIP’s maximum limits, you may be eligible to purchase additional coverage known as an excess flood insurance policy. Talk to your agent at AVP Insurance for more information on excess flood insurance.