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Flood Insurance for Homeowners
No matter where you live your home is at risk of flooding, just because it has not happened before in your area does not mean it won’t happen in the future. There are a number of conditions that can result in flooding. Heavy rains, hurricanes, severe storms, clogged drainage systems, spring thaws or bodies of water overflowing their banks can all result in severe flooding and devastating damage to your property.
A residential flood insurance policy will cover your home in the event of flooding and will usually need to be taken out separately to building insurance. It is important to remember that flood damage is not usually covered by a standard homeowner’s insurance policy. Flood insurance policies are available to homeowners, condo owners and commercial homeowners. Flood insurance policies are also available to renters to protect them from loss and damage to personal belongings and property.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) conducts studies to identify the flood risk to your area and community. A Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRMs) will show specific flood risk hazard areas, which will have a bearing on your flood insurance policy premium depending on whether you are in a high flood risk area or not. FIRMs are also used by community officials to mitigate flood damage and administer floodplain management regulations.
Residential Flood Insurance for Homeowners
The cost of your flood insurance premium will vary depending on your specific circumstances. If you are in a high flood risk area you can expect to pay a higher premium than if you are in a moderate to low risk area. Other factors that will have a bearing on your flood insurance premium will include the year your home was constructed, the number of floors, the location of contents and the location of the lowest floor.
Residential Condo Owner Flood Insurance
Condo owners are advised to get flood insurance to provide financial protection in the event of flooding and water damage. The cost of your flood insurance premium will depend on the location of your condominium unit, the number of units, the number of floors, building occupancy, flood risk and the age of the condominium.
Residential Flood Insurance for Renters
Even if you don’t own the property you live in you are still at risk of substantial financial loss in the event of flooding. Protecting your belongings and home contents is essential as anyone can be vulnerable to flooding. Residential flood insurance premiums will take into account the value of your contents to be insured, the location of the contents i.e. which floor, the year the property was built and whether you are in a high or low risk area.
Residential flood insurance policies will usually cover the following:
- Permanently installed cabinets, paneling, bookcases and wallboard
- Built in appliances including cooking stoves, dishwashers and refrigerators
- Your building and the foundations
- Damage to carpets
- Electronic equipment and computers
- Portable equipment including microwaves
- Plumbing systems
- Electrical systems
- Window blinds
- Air conditioning equipment
- Water heaters
Residential Flood Insurance Facts
- The average flood insurance policy costs $600 annually
- The average flood claim over the past ten years amounts to $48,000