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Flood usually occurs in areas marked by heavy rainfall and other natural phenomena. Development patterns and drainage systems also play an important role in floods across the country.

Whether you live in an area susceptible to flooding or not, a flood insurance policy is a smart thing to consider, mainly because your homeowners’ insurance does not cover flood damage.

Around 20 thousand communities in the United States are placed into a category of flood zones, and participate in FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), with premium rates determined by the risks of flooding. To specify the risks in different parts of the country, FEMA assigned a character from the alphabet to each flood zone.

The National Flood Insurance Program tries to reduce the effect of flooding on private and public properties. It provides affordable insurance to property owners and encourages communities to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations. These endeavors diminish the effects of flooding on new and improved structures.

Do I really need flood Insurance?

Unlike car insurance, flood insurance isn’t required by law simply because you own property. However, if you live in a high-risk area, called a “Special Flood Hazard Area”, it is highly recommended and most probably required by your lender if you have a mortgage on your property.

Even if you reside in a low-risk area, usually denoted as B, C, or X flood zone, exposure to a minimal amount of flooding can have disastrous financial consequences.

Floods are the most common and expensive natural disaster in the US and cause millions of dollars in damage every year. All it takes is a few inches of water to cause major damage to your home and its contents.

Floods can happen anywhere. More than 20% of flood claims come from properties outside high-risk flood zones. Make sure you stay dry.

Can I get an alternative Flood Insurance policy that's not from FEMA?

After Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy, FEMA’s flood insurance program NFIP is $24 billion in debt, causing significant increases in premiums to its customers.

There is an alternative and it’s dubbed Private Market Flood insurance, which is essentially any flood insurance policy underwritten by a private insurance company. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean private flood insurance is better FEMA’s flood insurance. It’s simply a viable alternative flood insurance option that has its pros and cons.

Pros and cons of FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

With an NFIP policy, the insurer must renew
coverage as long as the premium is paid
FEMA’s NFIP issues subsidized flood insurance to customers living in regions prone to flooding
When flood maps change, NFIP provides a cheaper
flood insurance rating known as “grandfathering
Coverage for damage to your home’s structure,
including the foundation, electrical, and plumbing
FEMA’s flood insurance policies are accepted by
all mortgage lenders
Coverage for damaged belongings, such as clothing, electronics, appliances, and furniture
FEMA has Mitigation Assistance Programs that
reduce losses and protect from future disasters
Coverage limits are capped at $250,000 for your
home and $100,000 for belongings
There’s a 30 day waiting period before policies
go into effect
No additional living expenses coverage, such as
meals and hotels
No coverage for damage to outdoor property,
such as fences, patios, and pools
Elevation certificate is required if the building is
in a high-risk area (flood zones A or V)
Rating system is not on a property-by-property
basis causing higher premiums than private flood
Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act
(HIFAA) surcharge of $25 or $250