A flood is an overflow of an expanse of water that inundates a large span of normally dry land. Natural causes of floods can be intense rainfall, hurricanes, tropical storm, tsunami, drainage obstructions like landslides, glaciers, dam breakage, and man-made factors such as deforestation, poor water management, over-cultivation, overgrazing, and improper disposal of waste. A flood can also be a result of a river or lake that breaks its levies or overflows to cause the water to escape its borders. Once an overflow of water endangers land, damages can ensue upon transportation, buildings, bridges, roadways, houses, and people's lives. Floods can develop quickly and can last for days, weeks or even months. Recovering from a flood is an overwhelming and traumatic experience for homeowners. Coping with flood damaged property is difficult, not to mention expensive, especially for those who do not have flood insurance.
If you are a property owner or planning to buy a house, you need to consider getting flood insurance even if the location of your property is in a low risk flood zone or has no history of flood disasters. Floods do not only occur in coastal areas or where bodies of water are near. Floods can arise anywhere and everybody is at risk. It is important to know that homeowner's insurance policies do not usually cover flooding. Thus, buying flood insurance is one of the imperative decisions you should make to protect your financial investment, ensure recovery assistance and save further costs when flood disasters happen.
- Check your property's flood risk through a flood map. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers a map service to help you identify whether your property is located on a high or low flood risk zone. Insurance premiums vary depending on the level of risk.
- Explore the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). This federal program is intended for property owners in participating communities to purchase insurance protection from the government against damages and losses from flooding. The local communities, which are members of NHIP, implement floodplain management ordinances to lower flood risks in their areas in order for the government to make financial protection available within the community. Check the National Flood Insurance Program website for details on coverage, policy rates and specific types of insurance for homeowners, renters, condo owners or renters, commercial owners or renters. More necessary resources about flood risks and flood insurance are made accessible through this site.
- Look for a flood insurance agent. To make your search easier, the NFIP site provides a service that enables you to locate an agent near your area. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on the net also has a list of private insurance companies, which offer federal flood insurance policies in agreement with the Federal Insurance Administration. Talk to several agents, understand the policies, and compare price quotes.
- Select full insurance coverage. It may be expensive, but it can actually save you money in the long-run when a flooding disaster hits your home.
Remember that your property does not have to be in a flood plain area to need flood insurance. Do not wait to experience flood. It is always best to be prepared and insured than be sorry afterward.