What coverages do flood policies provide?
Flood policies normally protect against abnormal water patterns. This may include:
- Floods (rising water levels)
- Atypical waves (along the coast)
- Mudslides and mudflows (sometimes)
- Other risks (as defined)
Coverage for mudslides and mudflows is highly dependent upon the policy, and not all policies include this protection. It’s not an issue for many property owners. Those who do specifically want coverage for these risks, though, should work with an insurance agent who knows flood policies well. A knowledgeable agent can help property owners check the terms and conditions of different policies.
What is the National Flood Insurance Program?
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is a federal program run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The program makes affordable flood insurance available where it’s important to have, but would otherwise be prohibitively expensive or unavailable.
Property owners who are in high-risk flood areas per FEMA’s maps must purchase flood coverage. They can do so at a subsidized rate, provided that their community participates in the NFIP. Very few communities don’t participate, as it costs a community nothing to participate.
Property owners who aren’t in a high-risk flood area can still procure flood coverage if they want, but it’s normally done through the private marketplace.
An insurance agent who specializes in flood policies can help property owners check whether they’re in a high-risk area, and whether their property is eligible for the NFIP.