It doesn't matter if you live in a flood plain or not. You may not be located in a "special-hazard" flood zone. Regardless of location, every property owner is susceptible to flood damage, and your current home insurance or business insurance probably doesn't cover it. Let us give you a quote on Flood Insurance in the Miami area today!
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Your options to protect your home or business in the event of flood damage:
Many people wrongly believe that the U.S. government will take care of all their financial needs if they suffer damage due to flooding. The truth is that Federal disaster assistance is only available if the President formally declares a disaster. Even if you do get disaster assistance, it's often a loan you have to repay, with interest, in addition to your mortgage loan that you still owe on the damaged property. Most importantly, you must consider the fact that if your home or business is flooded and disaster assistance isn't offered, you'll have to shoulder the massive damage costs alone. The bottom line is that if you're looking for secure protection from financial loss due to flood damage, Federal disaster assistance is not the answer.
Option 2: Buy flood insurance and stay protected no matter what.
When disaster strikes, flood insurance policyholder claims are paid even if a disaster is not Federally declared. Flood insurance means you'll be reimbursed for all your covered losses. And unlike Federal aid, it never has to be repaid. In general, a policy does not take effect until 30 days after you purchase flood insurance. So, if the weather forecast announces a flood alert for your area and you try to purchase coverage, it's already too late. You will not be insured if you buy a policy a few days before a flood.
What is flood insurance?
Flood insurance is a type of property insurance that protects you from financial loss due to water damage in your home or business because of flooding, which can be caused by a long or heavy rain, melted snow, storm surge, a dam failure or even a storm drainage system that gets blocked.
Does home insurance cover flood damage?
Flood insurance is a type of catastrophe insurance. It works differently than home insurance, which excludes water damage due to flooding, which is why you need to purchase a flood insurance policy. Homeowners insurance policies only have what is called “basic hazard insurance coverage” which only covers interior water damage due to something that breaks in your home; possibly from a storm, tornado etc. But if that damage is caused by water coming from outside your house, then your home insurance will not cover it and you will only be covered if you have flood insurance.
How does flood insurance work?
Flood insurance works just like any other type on insurance. You pay a premium dollar amount based on the flood risk for your property along with the deductible you choose and you receive a flood insurance policy. If there is a flood caused by nature, elements, or some infrastructure that fails or collapses, and therefore causes your property and/or personal property to get damaged or destroyed, you will receive cash for the money that is required to repair, rebuild or replace the structure and/or your personal property up to the limit that is listed on your flood insurance policy. However, unlike a standard home insurance policy, where if you buy home insurance your personal property is automatically covered, purchasing flood insurance coverage for your structure is not going to cover your personal property. If you wish to have coverage for your personal property you will need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy specifically for your personal property. Please note; if you wish to have coverage for water damage due to a sewer backup that was not caused by rising flood waters then you will need to purchase a separate coverage rider.
Flood insurance policies can be purchased by anyone that owns either a home or any commercial property.
Is flood insurance required?
Flood insurance is a required coverage when applying for a federally backed mortgage of a property in a federally designated flood zone (an area at high risk of flooding due to heavy rains, flash flooding, and mudflows).
How can you get flood insurance?
Flood insurance is offered by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); yes, the government - lol. They offer flood insurance to homeowners and commercial property owners in participating communities, along with those that are in “NFIP-designated flood plains”. However you do not purchase these policies directly from NFIP or FEMA. You actually purchase these policies from a private insurance company. NFIP and FEMA only determine the rates and the pricing based on the flood zone of which your property is located, the age of the property, the number of floors the property has and the elevation.
How much does flood insurance cost?
Once again, NFIP regulates the rates and pricing of flood insurance policies. So no matter which insurance company you go to, you will be paying the same amount of money. If you live in a flood zone or NFIP-participating community and need to find an insurance agent, you can contact the NFIP and they will help you find one.
To determine the cost of your policy, your agent is going to look at things like location, structure, how close it is to water and its elevation as well as the type of coverage you selected whether its replacement cost or actual cash value. As mentioned in the previous section, your flood zone, age of your property and number of floors all affect the pricing. If you’re in a moderate to low risk area for flooding, you can purchase a preferred risk policy for less money that will provide both your structure and your personal property for just 1 price. If you live in a community that has implemented flooding safeguards you can receive a discount from NFIP.
Annual premiums can range from about $600 to about $1,400 according to FEMA.
When it comes to NFIP policies, the maximum coverage for residential structures is $250,000 for the building and $100,000 for personal property. For businesses, the maximum coverage is $500,000 each for the building and the personal property. If you wish to insure your property for more, then you will need to seek it out on your own by contacting various insurance companies, though additional coverage is not regulated. When seeking out better coverage it might be best to start out by contacting the insurance company that sold you your homeowners insurance policy.
Why do you need flood insurance?
If you live in a high-risk flood area you may be required to purchase flood insurance. But even if you live in a moderate to low-risk flood area you still should consider purchasing coverage for flood damage to your home. No matter where you live, your property is vulnerable to flooding and you do not want to suffer damage that you maybe cannot afford to repair on your own.