FLOOD INSURANCE: IT’S RIGHT FOR EVERYONE, BUT NOT EVERYONE HAS IT
“Just because you have homeowner’s insurance does NOT mean that you have any coverage for a flood.” – Frank N. Darras
It’s generally inexpensive for residential homeowners and commercial business owners to add flood insurance coverage to your portfolio of insurance coverage, but it’s a mistake to assume that it’s included in an existing policy.
Even just a few inches of water can cause substantial damage to your home or business. Advises Frank Darras, “The basement is where we store a lot of stuff – your washer, dryer, ski equipment, hockey stuff, televisions, stereo equipment, computers. It doesn’t take much [water] to get to $100,000 [worth of damage].”
What do you need to know when considering flood insurance coverage? There are two separate types of flood insurance coverage. Under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which was extended by President Obama in 2012, you can purchase coverage for a structure and coverage for its contents.
- Residential Maximums:
- Structure: $250,000
- Contents: $100,000
- Commercial Maximums:
- Structure: $500,000
- Contents: $500,000
There have been increases in both premiums and deductibles across the board, especially in areas that have been hit hard by floods or flood-related claims.
Flood insurance, despite being part of a national program, is not available through the federal government directly. You must purchase the additional coverage from an insurance agent in your area.
Keep in mind that flood and water damage, for insurance purposes is not the same concept. Understanding the difference may take, “a good bottle of wine,” chides insurance attorney Frank Darras, or the help of an experienced insurance professional who is familiar with flood insurance policies, sudden and accidental damage and slow leaks.