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Ensure Your Ability to Recover: Buy A Flood Insurance Policy

04/17/2023

Check Your Insurance Coverage | Plan • Floods | Hurricanes

Why does it matter?

Most homeowner insurance policies do not cover flood damage, but nearly every home has some flooding risk. That is why flood insurance is one of your home's most critical financial protections.

What do I need to know?

Even if you reside outside mapped high-risk flood zones, you may need flood insurance someday. Exploring coverage options is an excellent way to ensure you have the money and resources necessary to recover from a future flood event. Typically, the lower the risk, the lower the cost.

Nearly all flood policies require a 30-day waiting period before coverage takes effect. That is why it is almost always too late to purchase a policy once flood, hurricane, or tropical storm watches and warnings occur.

Where do I start?

You can determine your flood risk by contacting your insurance company, local growth management agency, building and zoning department or by visiting the FEMA FloodSmart website.

When you contact your insurance company, ask for a policy review and explore your flood insurance options. Secure quotes from FEMA and a private insurance company to ensure you get the best price.

Here are some of the questions you should ask:

• Is my home insured for actual cash value or replacement cost?
• Are my personal belongings covered? How is the limit established?
• What is my deductible?
• If my home is uninhabitable, will my policy provide temporary living expenses?
• What is the time limit, if any, for temporary living expenses?
• How much savings should I have in reserve to meet my deductible?
• How can I qualify for policy discounts each year?
• What is the best way to document damage?
• What are my responsibilities to prevent further destruction if damage occurs?
• Does my community's building code affect my rates?

More Resources

Buyers Guide to Resilient Homes

If Disaster Strikes: Will you be covered? A Homeowners Guide to Insurance

FEMA: Floodsmart.gov

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