Homeowners and renters need to consider purchasing flood insurance to cover the replacement of their property should the unthinkable occur. Flooding can occur for a variety of reasons ranging from snow melt to flash flooding. While homeowners residing in high-risk areas must purchase flood insurance, all homeowners and renters can benefit from the protection flood insurance offers. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers the National Flood Insurance Program to help renters and homeowners obtain flood insurance.
Visit the National Flood Insurance Program Community Status Book. Verify your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program. Search by state to locate your community.
Find an agent in your area. Visit FEMA’s website and perform a search looking for agents in your area who offer flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program. Talk to the agent who currently handles your other insurance needs, such as automobile insurance, and ask if they offer flood insurance through FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program.
Provide your agent with any necessary information to complete the application for the National Flood Insurance Program. Give your current or new insurance agent the date of your home’s construction, address and type of construction, such as brick. Your insurance agent will use this information to locate your home on a FEMA flood map and help determine your home’s risk of flooding. Review this information with your agent, as rates are determined using this information. Provide the name and contact information for the mortgage holder, if applicable.
Conduct an inventory of your home’s contents. Include all valuables, including furniture, appliances, electronics and jewelry. Note the purchase date and price if possible. Create an inventory for each room and provide a copy of your inventory to your insurance agent for safe keeping. Notify your agent when you have new items to add to your home inventory, such as a new refrigerator or dryer.
Review coverage guidelines. Understand any limitations and exceptions related to flood insurance coverage. Flood insurance typically covers the physical building and the contents, not the actual land.
- FloodSmart.gov: About the National Flood Insurance Program: The NFIP Partnership
- FloodSmart.gov: About the National Flood Insurance Program: Making Communities Safer
- FloodSmart.gov: About the National Flood Insurance Program: Coverage From the NFIP
- FEMA: National Flood Insurance Program: Flood Insurance Manual: Application
- Michael Blann/Digital Vision/Getty Images