What is flood insurance?
The current flood risk is greater now than it has been in the past. Floods are the most common and widespread of all the natural hazards. Floods can occur in many different ways, with some that develop over several days and others that occur as flash floods. Both types can create raging waters and massive destruction to property with long lasting effects. Hurricanes and winter storms can create tidal flooding and storm surge conditions. Mudslides in themselves are another type of flood that must be endured by many who think may not live in a flood zone. Water rapidly running off steep ground causes natural drainage systems to overflow carrying debris of trees, rocks, mud and other materials. Even the small stream, gully, creek or culvert in dry weather can become a dangerous flood in a very short amount of time.
Flood losses result in millions of dollars in damages every year. More dwellings become prone to flood waters due to overbuilding of lands or the leveling of forests, both of which reduce the ability of the soil to naturally absorb excess water. Floods have claimed many lives over the past years, many of which could have been spared by understanding and avoiding the potential dangers of floods.
To recover from a flood, it is important that all renters, home and business owners consider purchasing Flood Insurance to cover their personal property and / or premises. Most homeowners and commercial insurance policies exclude coverage for flooding. Flood insurance policies are available through insurance agents for homes or businesses in communities that have joined the National Flood Insurance Program. The City of Hampton is one such communities that participates in the NFIP. A flood insurance policy is administered by an insurance company and is provided by the federal government. It can help provide protection for either residential or commercial buildings as well as personal property.
What does a Flood Insurance Policy Cover?
A flood policy provides coverage for direct physical loss due to flooding, which includes:
- the overflow of inland or tidal waters;
- the unusual and rapid accumulation or run off of surface waters from any source; and
- mudslides which are proximately caused by flooding.
- The policy may also includes these features:
- Claims may be settled on a replacement or actual cash value cost basis up to your policy limits. A deductible will apply. Contact your insurance agent for details.
- When you purchase appropriate building and personal property coverage, the policy includes coverage for the following damaged basement items:
- air conditioners;
- hot water heaters;
- food freezers;
- clothes washers and dryers;
- unfinished dry walls or sheet rock walls and related fiberglass insulation;
- foundation elements;
- sump pumps;
- heat pumps; and
- electrical junction and circuit breaker boxes.
Coverage also includes an allowance for reasonable expenses incurred to protect your building from the imminent danger of a flood, such as sandbagging.
Coverage is available for contents, as well.
Check with your insurance agent for specifics of policy coverage, rates, and availability.
Find out if you are required to carry flood insurance at floodsmart.gov.
Please Note: There is a thirty day waiting period before flood insurance policies go into effect.