Why get flood insurance?
Homeowners policies do not cover flood damage. Floods can occur on many types of properties, from the lowlands in Huntington Beach to the rolling hills of San Clemente. That said, certain topography is naturally more prone to flooding. According to the National Flood Insurance Program, 20 percent of flood insurance claims come from moderate to low-risk areas.
What does flood insurance cover?
Flood insurance covers your property and possessions with individual limits for each. There are some coverage exclusions, such as damage caused by moisture or mildew that a homeowner could have avoided. Coverage in basements and crawl spaces is also limited. For a more comprehensive list of coverages, look at this link from the National Flood Insurance Program.
What counts as a covered flood?
As defined by the National Flood Insurance Program, a covered flood is:
1) A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land area or of two or more properties (at least one of which is your property) from overflow of inland or tidal waters, unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source, or mudflow.
2) Collapse or subsidence of land along the shore of a lake or similar body of water as a result of erosion or undermining caused by waves or currents of water exceeding anticipated cyclical levels that result in a flood as defined above.
* Mudflow is defined (in part) as a river of liquid and flowing mud on the surfaces of normally dry land areas, as when earth is carried by a current of water.
What companies offer flood insurance?
The government-run National Flood Insurance Program carries almost all flood insurance in the country. Their policies and claims are handled by private insurance companies. You can purchase a policy through an insurance agent.
How is my premium determined?
In large part, your premium is determined by the location of your home. In preferred flood zones, premiums are much lower than non-preferred zones. Rental properties are often more expensive as well.
Is there a waiting period before coverage starts?
Yes in most cases. Once you submit your application and payment, there is a 30-day waiting period before coverage begins.
For even more information, check out the link to FEMA's Summary of Coverage on this page.