This week, we’ve been talking a lot about floods, as it is Flood Safety Awareness Week. By now, hopefully you’ve gotten our message that flood damage is not covered by your homeowners insurance policy. In order to have coverage for a flood, you must buy a separate flood policy. We’ll explain a little bit about how that works.
The National Flood Insurance Program was developed by Congress in 1968, to help protect citizens from catastrophic flood damage. The program is administered by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency.) The program works with communities to identify high risk areas and adopt ordinances that meet FEMA requirements to reduce the risk of flooding. Flood policies are sold by insurance agencies and are usually available from the same companies that sell homeowners insurance. Flood insurance policies have a 30-day waiting period before they go into effect. If you live in a high risk area and have a mortgage on your home, your lender probably required you to purchase flood insurance. Even if you live in a moderate-to-low risk area, flood insurance is recommended and reasonably priced. 20% of flood claims and one-third of disaster assistance claims are submitted by residents of moderate-to-low risk areas.
Even just a few inches of water can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage. From 2007 to 2011, the average residential flood claim was $30,000. With more than a foot of snow falling on Maine today, the first day of Spring, melting will soon occur and overflow our rivers. Flood risk will be even more increased by ice dams and rain. Contact us today to make sure you are covered!