Photo courtesy of César Huitrón
It might not be common knowledge, but a standard homeowner's policy does not protect you against a flood. According to The National Flood Insurance Program, floods come in at #1 for disasters in the United States with over 20% of claims coming from people outside areas mapped as high-risk. This could mean that even if you're not located near water, you could experience a flood at some point as a homeowner or tenant. With the average claim for flood damage reaching close to $42,000 from the last few years it's definitely in your financial interest to look into flood insurance coverage.
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was created in 1968 and to this day is still enforce. The program helps provide partnerships to communities who participate and provides them with ways to help reduce the chances of flooding through city ordinances or other requirements provided by FEMA.
Flood insurance can be purchased two ways; either through FEMA directly or the write your own program through various insurance companies. Even if purchased through the write your own program, flood insurance is still controlled by the NFIP.
Coverage can be purchased for commercial, dwelling, and even contents only. That's right, renters insurance generally also has no coverage for flooding.
The national flood program rates are determined based on a lot of information, but here are a few of the factors they take into consideration when quoting your flood insurance:
The flood zone you're located in
If your county/city is in the regular or emergency program
If the county/city does not participate in the national flood program at all (flood insurance may not be available through the federal program in this case and flood insurance must be purchased directly from FEMA)
For more information on flood insurance, check out The National Flood Insurance Program or FEMA's information page.