Tag Archives: insurance

floodsavvy.com

Flood Insurance: Government (NFIP) vs Private

Typically a person gets flood insurance to cover some costs of flood induced damage to your home and other personal items.There are two types of flood insurance, government flood insurance and private flood insurance. For the most part, flood insurance is insured by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and is managed by FEMA, but some people go a different path and get private flood insurance.

NFIP (FEMA) Flood Insurance

Some of the reasons to get federal flood insurance include its wide range of availability, and the reliable coverage. The downsides include, not being able to get coverage if you have to flee your house and relocate, and your claim is usually limited to $250,000 for personal residences and $100,000 for contents. It is important to note that flood insurance has two different parts – dwelling and contents – and they MUST be purchaesd seperately.

How much does it cost? Well that depends on where you live and where your property is on the FEMA Flood maps. However, if you do purchase a FEMA flood insurance policy it will cost the same no matter where you get it. The cost does not differ from agency to agency. It is solely based on the address of your property you are trying to insure.

Private Flood Insurance

The pros of private flood insurance are being able to claim over $250,000, and getting coverage for your additional living expenses if needed. For example, if you have to move out of your property after a flood for renovations, some or all of those costs may be covered. Another benefit is the waiting time for your policy to take effect: 15 days for private insurance vs. the 30 day waiting period required for NFIP insurance.

The cons to private insurance however are your insurance company denying to renew your flood insurance policy if you are deemed too risky, and it not being available to everyone. In contrast NFIP insurance can not cancel your flood policy, buy may raise the rates based on how many and how much you claim for a flooding evert.

Floods can happen anywhere — just one inch of floodwater can cause up to $25,000 in damage. Most homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage. Flood insurance is a separate policy that can cover buildings, the contents in a building, or both, so it is important to protect your most important financial assets — your home, your business, your possessions.

FEMA

Insurance Costs Remain High post House Elevation

OUR HOUSE IS “SPECIAL”: We live in a flood zone that has been deemed “special” by FEMA, and not in a good way. It’s rated in the highest category of flood insurance, beat out only by those who have ocean front views. The guilty party in our instance is not the Atlantic Ocean, but a gentle brook whose size is disarmingly small. Yet, it provides, under the right circumstances, significant flooding around the entire perimeter of our house. For all kinds of obvious reasons, we no longer wanted to have the brook entering our house like an uninvited guest who crashes the party and trashes your house.

RAISE THE ROOF: or the whole house, as we did. That’s right. Ripped it from its foundation, jacked it up about 5 feet, built some new access stairs and endured a few months of costly construction. All in the name of decreasing our flood risk and ever-climbing flood insurance rates.

Our updated information was sent to FEMA complete with our required new flood elevation certificate. We weren’t looking for a gold star for our foreheads, just a decrease in our flood insurance rates.

FEMA’S RESPONSE: No rate change – same as  BEFORE the lift. Why? Two words – Flood Vents.

Flood Savvy.com

Interior view of flood vent

WHAT IS A FLOOD VENT? Simply put, a flood vent allows for a free flow of flood water in and out of a home’s foundation walls. They serve to equalize the pressure on both sides of the foundation walls, decreasing the chance of significant damage. (see earlier post on flood vents)

FloodSavvy.com

FEMA accepted flood vents

Not only do you need to have them, you need to have the right number of them based on the square footage of your house. The correct number of vents were on our plans, but our builder missed two of them. FEMA is a stickler that all criteria be met. Our house is out of harm’s way, but because we have seven instead of the required nine flood vents, they offered no reduction. A true all or none philosophy.  They have no competition, you can only get flood insurance through FEMA so they get to make all the rules. Once installed, we’ll resubmit our data to FEMA and hope for a better outcome.

FloodSavvy.com

Flood vents cut into the foundation near the ground