The destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey and the possible threat of Hurricane Irma has alerted homeowners about protecting their property, thus raising questions about flood insurance.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency administers flood policies under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). However, recipients of the policies and people recently scared by Harvey will not be able to get immediate coverage and will have to wait for another 30 days.
The coverage includes essential systems in home (such as electrical and plumbing systems, furnaces, water heaters, central air conditioners, heat pumps, and sump pumps), appliances, carpeting and window treatments, foundation walls, anchorage systems, and staircases attached to the building and certain valuables (such as original artwork and fur up to $2,500).
However, the policies provided by NFIP come with strings attached and don’t cover everything you own. For instance, it doesn’t cover furniture that is located in a basement. It also has several requirements that recipients have to meet.
The policy costs homeowners $450 a year and covers damages up to $250,000 in building and $100,000 in contents.
“Even a small amount of rising water can cause serious flooding, so it is important to evaluate your insurance coverage now and plan ahead for the upcoming hurricane season,” said Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier.
Laura Adams, senior insurance analyst for insuranceQuote of Austin, said, “As we've seen with Houston, you don't even have to be in a flood zone to get serious damage. What's happening with Hurricane Harvey is making everybody sit up and question: 'Should I get (flood insurance)?' I'd say, you need to get a quote and find out what it would cost you.”
Apart from federal flood insurance plans, private insurers are also offering more coverage. In some cases, they may also cover living expenses of homeowners or provide higher coverage limits.
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