As a Delaware resident, you may not realize your homeowners insurance policy does not cover damages resulting from flood waters until flood waters have already risen. The protection of a comprehensive flood insurance policy can help you recover quickly, should your home be damaged by rising waters.
Before you search for flood insurance quotes, however, there are several things to consider.
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Flood Facts For Delaware
According to the National Flood Insurance Program:
- Floods are the No. 1 natural disaster in the United States.
- From 2008 to 2012, the average flood claim amounted to nearly $42,000.
- From 2003 to 2012, total flood insurance claims averaged nearly $4 billion per year.
- In 2012, the average flood insurance policy premium was about $650 per year.
- People outside of mapped high-risk flood areas file nearly 25 percent of all National Flood Insurance Program flood insurance claims and receive one-third of Federal Disaster Assistance for flooding.
- The NFIP paid more than $7.7 billion in flood insurance claims to all policyholders in 2012.
- In Delaware, more than 1,200 residents filed a claim for flood damages in 2012 alone, resulting in more than $31 million in payouts.
What is the NFIP?
In 1968, Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to help provide a means for property owners to financially protect themselves. The NFIP offers flood insurance to homeowners, renters, and business owners if their community participates in the NFIP. Participating communities agree to adopt and enforce ordinances that meet or exceed FEMA, which works closely with nearly 90 private insurance companies to offer flood insurance to property owners and renters.
In order to qualify for flood insurance, a community must join the NFIP and agree to enforce sound floodplain management standards. The NFIP, a federal program, offers flood insurance, which can be purchased through property and casualty insurance agents. Rates are set and do not differ from company to company or agent to agent. These rates depend on many factors, which include the date and type of construction of your home, along with your buildings level of risk.
Fortunately, most Delaware cities and counties participate in the NFIP.
Do I Need Flood Insurance?
Flood waters do not discriminate and chances are, at some point during your life, your home will be flooded. The choice to purchase a flood insurance policy may come down to your level of risk.
According to FEMA, most people are likely to need flood insurance at some point. It projects that homeowners fend off flood waters at least once every five years. FEMA has flood plain maps for every area in Delaware, and it lists areas as 10-year, 30-year, 50-year or 100-year flood plains based on elevation, slope of the land, soil, proximity to water sources and other factors. It's a good idea to take a look at FEMA's assessment of your specific Delaware location.
What Does Flood Insurance Cover?
Most Delaware insurance companies, and their partnership with the federal government, offer the following flood insurance protections:
- General Property Policy: Covers five or more family residential buildings and non-residential buildings.
- Residential Condominium Building Association Policy: Insures condominiums and townhomes.
- Standard Flood Insurance Policy - Dwelling: The most common form of coverage, used to insure up to four family residential buildings and single family dwelling units in a condo/townhouse building.
For standard dwelling coverage, you have two options:
- Building property coverage - up to $250,000
- Personal property coverage - up to $100,000
The NFIP strongly recommends homeowners purchase both coverage options. It's a good idea to speak with your lender, as a mortgage company can also require you to carry a certain amount and type of flood coverage if your home is located in a flood zone.
What About My Personal Property?
Now that you understand how your home can be protected with a flood insurance policy, find out how the items you keep inside can be insured.
You can only buy personal property flood insurance at actual cash value coverage, while your home itself can be covered by replacement cost value.
- Replacement cost value: The cost to replace items that are damaged with brand new materials or items.
- Actual cash value: This reimbursement method takes depreciation into account. For example, if your 10-year-old stove is damaged by flood waters, your Delaware insurance company will reimburse you the cost to purchase a 10-year-old stove, not a brand new one.
Flood insurance is complicated. It's highly recommended that you speak to a professional agent who can help you get the coverage you need and fully understand your options.
What Will My Flood Insurance Quote Look Like?
The quotes for flood insurance coverage vary greatly from one area of Delaware to the next, and depend on a variety of factors including flood risk and the value of the home being insured. Flood insurance can be as low as $130 per year, for a renewable one-year policy.
It is essential to speak with a qualified agent who can find you a variety of quotes so you can compare coverage options and price.
How Can I Find Flood Insurance?
Flood waters can come unexpectedly and quickly. The last thing you want to worry about while getting your family to safety is whether or not your insurance will cover the damage. Knowledgeable, independent insurance agents on the Trusted Choice® network are always here to help answer any questions you may have about flood insurance, suggest coverage options, and even help you file a claim. Their years of experience working with Delaware insurance companies and the NFIP enables them to find a variety of quotes from a number of providers.
Contact an agent in your area today to find out how you can acquire the protection of flood insurance.