A standard homeowner insurance policy does not cover you for flood loss. And “flood loss” is not limited to storm surge and overflowing rivers. It can also include blocked storm drainage systems, snow melts, sewer backups, overflows from sump pumps, and more. That’s the reason that a significant number of flood insurance claims also occur in low-to-moderate flood risk areas. Here are a few basics to consider:
Here’s a simple way to think about flood insurance. If you experience damage from water from above (e.g. your roof is damaged and water comes in as a result) your homeowner policy will likely cover the loss. If you experience damage from water that comes from below (e.g. the river near your home overflows and fills your basement), you need flood insurance to cover the loss.
The National Flood Insurance Program defines a flood as a general and temporary condition where two or more acres of normally dry land or two or more properties are inundated by water or mudflow.
Flood risks generally include (but aren’t limited to) a. unusual and rapid accumulation of runoff or surface waters from any source, and b. the overflow of inland or tidal waters.
Standard MA Flood Insurance: If you live in a town that participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), you can protect your home and its contents with flood insurance. NFIP communities are those that voluntarily participate in the NFIP by adopting and enforcing floodplain management ordinances to reduce future flood damage. You have to apply for building coverage and contents coverage separately with this form of insurance.
Preferred Risk MA Flood Insurance: If your home or business is located in a low or moderate risk zone, your building might qualify for a low-cost “Preferred Risk Policy.” While your mortgage lender may not require you to purchase flood insurance in this case, flood insurance remains a relatively low cost protection.
Flood insurance normally takes 30 days from date of purchase to go into effect. Exceptions may be made when the coverage is required for a mortgage loan; in that case it becomes effective on the loan closing date.
Cushman Insurance Group can help you identify the flood risk zone of your residence and whether flood insurance protection is available and right for you.
Cushman Insurance (Brockton, Lakeville, Halifax); Ora A. Andrews Insurance (Norton, S. Attleboro); T. Robert Sullivan Insurance (S. Boston) are the affiliated agencies comprising the Cushman Insurance Group.