Prepare for Spring Flooding - Part 2

Homeowners and renters often buy insurance to help them recover from sudden and unexpected loss. However, traditional property insurance policies do not cover certain types of losses. Exclusions describing these situations are outlined in the insurance contract. Most policies exclude flood-related property damage. Coverage for flood damage is available by purchasing a separate, single-peril flood insurance policy.

Federally insured mortgage lenders require flood insurance on homes in high-risk areas. Flood insurance is optional for everyone else. Those that have flood insurance are ahead of the game if flooding occurs. Damages are paid per traditional claim settlement procedures. Victims without insurance must pay for repairs out-of-pocket or hope for disaster assistance. State and federal disaster grants are unreliable and far less than the amount of damage. Low-interest loans may be available but must be repaid.

The federal government backs flood insurance. Policies are available through the National Flood Insurance Program and certain private insurers. Those living in communities that have agreed to adopt and enforce floodplain management ordinances are eligible. Flood insurance can be purchased for homes, condominiums, aprartments, and commercial buildings. There is a $250,000 limit on residential properties. Coverage for personal belongings can be added up to $100,000. Pricing is affected by factors like flood risk zone, type of construction, number of floors, foundation materials, and more. Contact a local property agent for coverage an pricing specifics on flood insurance. Don't delay, as there is a 30-day waiting period before coverage takes effect.