Lost In The Flood? What You Need To Know About NJ Flood Insurance.
Floods are one of the most frequent, damaging natural disasters nationwide. It is a common misconception among property owners that their homeowners or commercial property insurance policies cover damages caused by flooding. However, such protection is not available without a separate flood insurance policy. This means that in the event of a flood or flooding caused by a tropical storm, depression or hurricane, your home, business, or personal property may not be financially covered unless you have obtained flood insurance.
Work with I & E Insurance Agency to determine whether you need a flood insurance policy and how we can help you get one.
What Is Flood Insurance?
Flood insurance is a type of insurance policy that provides coverage for damage or loss caused by flooding. It is designed to help protect homeowners and businesses from the financial impact of flood-related losses not covered by a standard homeowners or property insurance policy.
Flood insurance is typically offered by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in the United States, which is managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Homeowners and businesses can purchase flood insurance through their insurance agent or directly from the NFIP.
Which Flood Zones Require Flood Insurance?
Property owners can consult FEMA’s flood map to determine if flood insurance is necessary, which indicates high-risk flood zones. Federal laws mandate that property owners with homes or businesses in these zones and with federally-backed mortgages must have flood insurance. Additionally, homeowners may be required to obtain flood insurance by their mortgage provider due to the proximity to water and the frequency of severe storms.
In New Jersey, flood maps serve as a tool for communities to improve infrastructure and plan new developments. Insurers may also use the flood map of your community to assess flood risk and establish insurance premiums and requirements.
Flood risk is classified as follows:
- Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA)—These areas face serious flood risks, with a 1% or higher chance of a flood event during any given year. If you own property here, you must purchase flood insurance if you have a loan against the property.
- Moderate risk flood zone—These areas are often located in areas surrounding SFHAs and have at least a 0.2% annual chance of a severe flood event.
- Minimal flood hazard—These areas are outside the SFHA at higher elevations and have less than a 0.2% annual chance of a severe flood.
Generally, flood insurance is only a required purchase if your property is in an SFHA. Despite this, even if your property isn’t in an SFHA, it’s still potentially at risk. About one-third of insurance claims originate in moderate to low-risk flood areas.
What Does Flood Insurance Cover?
Flood insurance can supplement your existing homeowners or commercial property insurance policies and give you peace of mind knowing you are financially protected. Although policies vary, flood insurance may include the following coverages:
- Contents coverage—This may provide financial assistance if a covered flooding event damages or destroys the movable items inside of your home (e.g., furniture, clothing, electronics and portable applicable).
- Building coverage—This may provide repair or replacement payments if your building, its permanent fixtures or other vital structural elements (e.g., the plumbing and electrical infrastructure) are damaged or destroyed by a covered flooding event.
Work with our agents for more information on terms, exclusions and limits and to find out what else may be covered under a flood insurance policy for you.
Please note, although you can purchase flood insurance at any time, policies may take 30 days or more to go into effect. This means it may be too late if you wait until a storm is forecasted to purchase coverage.
How to Get Flood Insurance.
If you want to ensure your property is adequately protected, even in the event of a flood, we’re here to help. Contact I & E Insurance Agency to learn more about flood insurance and get appropriate coverage for your home or business.