What is Flood Insurance?
Homeowners insurance policies offer coverage for many perils, but there are some perils that they frequently exclude. Floods are often one of those excluded perils, which is why several Massachusetts insurers offer flood insurance policies.
Flood policies give homeowners (and other property owners) with a way to insure their properties from unusual water patterns, such as floods. In addition to offering policies for single-family homes, insurers also have flood policies for condominiums, apartments and commercial properties.
Our agency is specially equipt to serve a vast array of personal and business situations. We achieve this through strong relationships with our own carriers and private markets, in addition to writing coverage through NFIP.
Who in Massachusetts May Want Flood Coverage?
Many Massachusetts residents and businesses can benefit from having flood coverage.
In high-risk areas, coverage can provide protection against a very real potential risk. Some property owners in high-risk areas may even be legally required to carry a flood policy.
In low-risk areas, the cost of coverage is often much less than it is in high-risk areas. Sometimes coverage is so affordable that it makes sense to get a policy just in case there is a flood, which can be expensive to recover from.
What Kinds of Incidents Do Flood Policies Cover?
As mentioned, flood policies generally cover unusual water patterns. The most well-known of these is flooding, where water rises to above-normal levels that cause damage. This isn’t the only unusual water pattern that a flood policy might cover, though. Depending on a policy’s terms and conditions, it may also cover:
- Erosion that’s caused by abnormally strong waves
- Mudflows and mudslides that are caused by abnormal precipitation
- Other patterns that are specifically mentioned in a policy’s coverages
(As is true with any insurance, the exact incidents that a particular flood policy covers can vary.)
Can Property Owners Find Flood Coverage Through the NFIP?
The National Flood INsurance Program is a federally run program to help property owners in high-risk areas obtain affordable flood coverage. The program is open to homeowners, commercial property owners and other people who own property in high-risk areas.
In order to purchase a flood policy through the NFIP, a property owner’s property must be within a participating community. Most Massachusetts communities participate in the program. FEMA maintains a list of communities that are currently participating.
For property owners who are able to purchase coverage through the NFIP, this is usually the most affordable option. For property owners who don’t have access to the NFIP’s policies, comparing different policies with an independent agent is usually the best way to find affordable coverage.
Can Property Owners Rely on Disaster Relief Funds to Pay for Flood Damage?
When they’re available, disaster relief funds usually can be used to restore property that’s been damaged by flooding.
Property owners shouldn’t count on these funds to help them recover from a flood, though. The funds are only made available after the president declares an event a national disaster, and many events are never given this status. Additionally, any funds that are made available are given in the form of loans that must eventually be paid back.
Thus, disaster relief funds aren’t a substitute for insurance. Property owners who want to make sure they’ll have the financial resources to rebuild after a covered flood should look for a flood policy that offers robust coverage and high limits.
How Can Property Owners Get Flood Insurance?
To get help finding flood coverage for a property in Massachusetts, property owners should contact a flood insurance specialist at Flavin and Flavin Insurance. Flood policies frequently have complex terms, conditions and exclusions that affect their coverages. An independent agent who’s familiar with the terminology these policies use will have the expertise needed to sort through policies and select the one that offers the best protection.