Many residents of Idaho enjoy the state's beautiful terrain and outdoor activities. As one of the top states for transplants, its fast-growing economy and population are quickly developing this once sparsely populated state. Many residents in Idaho live near the rivers that span the state. Yearly snow runoff, along with flat ground and poor drainage, makes for ideal flooding conditions. Idaho has riverine floods (when a creek or river runs over its banks) and flash floods on an almost yearly basis. Residents of Idaho should be aware of the potential for flooding in their area and get protection for their homes and assets by purchasing flood insurance.
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Idaho Flood Facts
- There have been floods almost yearly; however, Idaho's most recent large floods were in 2006, 2008, and 2010.
- Every major river and lake in northern ID has flooded at some time, causing fatalities and damage to property.
- Floods are the most commonly reported disasters in Idaho.
When considering purchasing flood insurance, it's wise to get a good idea of how much your assets are worth. This process, known as a home inventory, will give you a starting figure. Go through each room in your house, jotting down the items in that room. Make sure to note any serial numbers. Take pictures of expensive items, along with looking up their value. Once you go through all the rooms, add the totals together. This will give you an accurate value of your belongings. Typically, you will want to double that number to be sure you are sufficiently covered.
What Is Flood Insurance in Idaho?
Flood insurance was originally created by Congress in 1968 after flood-damaged communities requested federal aid to recover. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is administered by FEMA and allows communities to purchase flood insurance once they've enacted flood abatement measures. There are currently more than 168 communities in the state of ID that are approved for flood insurance. With floods being so common, the NFIP keeps up-to-date Idaho flood maps zoned by flood hazards. Flood insurance offers coverage for both buildings and belongings.
What Does Flood Insurance Cover?
Flood insurance offers homeowners two types of protection. These policies work together to ensure that both the home and belongings are covered in case a flood strikes. A typical flood insurance policy may resemble the following:
- Building coverage covers the home and any attached buildings, as well as built-in appliances, flooring, electrical, plumbing, and heating/air conditioning. Residential flood insurance can offer as much as $250,000 in coverage for dwellings built for one to four families and up to $100,000 in contents. Commercial property owners can get up to $500,000 in coverage for buildings and the same coverage for contents. Condominiums can also be covered.
- Contents coverage covers the belongings in your homes, such as clothing, furniture, appliances, and artwork. It also covers items in a multistory home. Be advised, however, that belongings in a basement are not typically covered. Additionally, stock certificates, cash, and some other select items are not covered by flood insurance, so be sure to get clarification on these items before purchasing your policy.
Most flood insurance policies have a waiting period. The NFIP sets a standard 30-day waiting period before flood coverage goes into effect. There are exceptions to this rule, such as someone upgrading coverage, or lender-required coverage. Imagine just 3 inches of water in your home. Take a look around, and try to imagine the repairs that would be needed, such as wall repairs, refrigerator replacement, baseboard replacement, etc. Even a small flood can do major damage.
How Much Is a Flood Insurance Quote in Idaho?
The NFIP recently updated flood maps for the state of Idaho. The rate that you pay for flood insurance is individual to the house you have. The quotes are set by the NFIP, and generally speaking, won't vary from insurer to insurer. The questions your insurance agent may ask include the following:
- Location of home
- Building materials
- Number of stories (including basement)
- History of claims
- Home value
- Home age
- Value of belongings
- Preferred coverage amounts
- Preferred deductible
This information will help your agent get the best policy for you and your family.
How Do I get Flood Insurance in Idaho?
When searching for flood insurance, you should have a knowledgeable professional by your side to help you get the best coverage at the right price. An independent insurance agent is always available to help you discuss policy options, explain verbiage, and even help you file a claim.
Find an agent in your area for more information.