No one knows when and where the next big flood will occur. While you cannot stop flooding from happening, there are steps you can take to protect your home and belongings against water-related damage. Whether you own your home or rent it, flood insurance can help safeguard you against tens of thousands of dollars in losses – money you might otherwise have to pay out of pocket.
At Myers Insurance Group, we understand the importance of protecting your home and belongings against flooding regardless of whether you live in a high-risk area or not. Since standard homeowners and renters insurance policies do not cover flood damages, we are proud to offer access to flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
U.S. flood damage costs more each year than all other loss events. Since residents in high-risk areas might otherwise have difficulty obtaining affordable insurance for their homes and belongings, the National Flood Insurance Program was created to provide accessible flood insurance protection for most homeowners and renters across the U.S. That means that instead of having flood protection through your homeowners or renters insurance, you must instead purchase your coverage through the NFIP.
The NFIP is managed and overseen by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It offers limited coverage for homeowners and renters with premiums that are based on a coverage amount and flood risk designations. Here at Myers Insurance Group, we offer access to NFIP flood insurance whether you live in a low, moderate, or high-risk area.
Types of NFIP Coverage
National Flood Insurance Program policies are available with different types of coverage. If you are renting your property, you may not need flood insurance for your home’s structure, but instead for your personal belongings. This type of coverage is typically capped at $100,000, which is usually enough to reimburse you for the loss of damaged belongings like furniture and electronics after a flood. If you own or have a mortgage on your home, you also need coverage that protects its structure. This coverage is usually capped at $250,000, but additional protection may be available as supplemental coverage from a private insurer.
Should You Purchase Flood Insurance?
Perhaps your mortgage lender requires you to purchase and maintain flood insurance protection. In this case, flood insurance is not an option. However, even if you live in a low or moderate-risk area, flood insurance could still prove beneficial. One in four flooded homes are in ‘low-risk’ areas, and many of them do not have flood insurance protection. If your home is one of them, could you afford the tens of thousands of dollars in clean-up, remediation, and repairs?
A typical flood insurance policy would pay for the full replacement cost of cleaning up and rebuilding your home up to the limits of your policy. This includes the cost of mold removal, new flooring, wall replacement, new trim, new cabinetry, and more.
Keep in mind that even if your home is not currently in a ‘high-risk’ area, it could be re-zoned as such in the future. If you receive a notification that your home is now considered a higher risk of flooding, now is the time to purchase flood insurance protection. To find out more about the flood zones in your area and how they relate to your personal property, input your home’s address or coordinates into the flood map search tool on the FEMA website.
Disaster Assistance vs. Flood Insurance
Many homeowners and renters assume they do not need to invest in flood insurance since the Federal Emergency Management Agency issues disaster grants after major floods. The truth is these FEMA grants are generally available only to residents in federal disaster areas. If your home floods without a Presidential disaster declaration, you are unlikely to be eligible for a grant. Furthermore, the money provided through FEMA grants is typically very limited – usually enough to help with emergency medical bills or temporary living expenses after a flood. It is not intended to help with the reconstruction of your property. For that, you may either need flood insurance, deep pockets, or a loan that you will pay back with interest.
Applying for Illinois Flood Insurance
Whether you live in an area that has flooded before or in an area that has never flooded before, now is the time to purchase flood protection. Most NFIP policies impose a 30-day waiting period before coverage is effective. That means you cannot wait until an impending storm or snowmelt is threatening your area to purchase coverage. (Note that the 30-day waiting period is not generally applicable to certain applicants, including those who are taking out a new mortgage or who only recently received notification of the re-zoning of their homes.)
Why Use an Independent Agent?
Since you cannot purchase NFIP coverage directly from FEMA, you must instead purchase the coverage through a licensed agent. When you choose Myers Insurance Group to purchase your NFIP coverage, you are choosing an independent agency with a commitment to looking out for our customers’ best interests. We not only sell flood insurance from the NFIP, but we can also help you assess your individual coverage needs based on the value of your home’s structure, your belongings, and your estimated risk.
In addition to offering NFIP coverage, we can also help with supplemental private flood insurance protection, as well as other types of water damage protection, including coverage for burst pipes, sewer backups, and more. Our goal is to help you feel more confident in your coverage and minimize your vulnerability to water-related losses.