The sooner you can buy a flood insurance policy, the better off you’ll be. If heavy rains or rising rivers and lakes don’t make you nervous, Hurricane Florence might have been a wake-up call. It’s easy to think of flooding as a waterfront property or coastal problem (and it is), but anywhere it can rain, a flood is possible.
If this hurricane season, which runs to November, gave you pause now is the perfect time to buy a flood insurance policy. Here’s what you need to know.
National Flood Insurance Program
The vast majority of flood insurance policies are written by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) — a government-backed insurance program that’s administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). They have written more than five million insurance policies for property owners. To select and purchase flood insurance, you can still work with your preferred insurance agent.
NFIP policies only cover your property up to certain levels:
- Up to $250,000 in damage to your home’s structure
- Up to $100,000 in damage to the contents of your home
- Living expenses, like temporary housing, aren’t covered.
While they’re still rare, there are private insurance carriers who offer flood insurance. You can purchase a single policy through these providers or supplement your NFIP policy with additional coverage.
Why You Need Flood Insurance Right Now
Unlike some other forms of insurance, waiting to buy flood insurance only puts you and your home at greater risk of a catastrophe. Why? Because there’s a 30 day waiting period before your flood insurance policy will be in effect. While you’re in that waiting period, your policy won’t cover flood damage.
Waiting until there’s a storm headed our way isn’t a good option either. Most insurance carriers won’t write policies while a storm is “in the box.” This means that it’s within about 48 hours of landfall and it’s expected to be anywhere near Charlotte or the surrounding area.
You might think that since you don’t live close to water that you’re safe and don’t need flood insurance. In fact, nearly 20 percent of all claims come from areas that are designated lower risk for flooding. All it takes is one flash flood or a 500-year storm, and your usually bone-dry neighborhood might fill with water and ruin your home.
Don’t Rely on Your Home Insurance
Home insurance policies don’t cover flooding. A standard policy may cover water damage from a burst pipe or a hole in the ceiling. But it’s not going to pay for the damage when water come into your home from a storm, cresting river, or any other flooding. Only flood insurance can help you repair and rebuild your home.
If Florence made you nervous or you’re no longer willing to play roulette with storms and rising waters, contact Charlotte Insurance today. We’re able to sell flood insurance policies through NFIP and will let you know what your policy options are. Protect your home with a flood insurance policy today.