While Maine is not a state typically known for flood problems, extremely damaging floods strike here from time to time. Residents who do not have flood insurance may find themselves facing unmanageably expensive cleanup, repair, and replacement costs. However, the cost of flood insurance in Maine is $1,133 per year, which is quite a bit higher than the current national average of $768.
Fortunately, an independent insurance agent in Maine can help you find the most affordable flood insurance in your area. They'll shop and compare coverage and quotes from several local carriers to find you the best protection and rate. But first, here's an overview of Maine flood insurance.
Companies That Offer Flood Insurance in Maine
Maine residents can purchase flood insurance in one of two ways: through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), regulated and backed by the federal government but sold by traditional insurance companies, or through a private flood insurance company. The NFIP is a part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Its limits for flood insurance are $250,000 for buildings coverage and $100,000 for personal property coverage. With private flood insurance, you can get much higher coverage limits for both of these, and benefits from other coverages beyond what the NFIP offers, such as loss of use coverage or replacement cost coverage. Here are some of the best private flood insurance companies in Maine:
- Hiscox - FloodPlus
- Berkshire Hathaway
- Aon Private Flood
- Zurich Insurance Group
- Private Market Flood
- FloodSimple Insurance Services
A Maine independent insurance agent can help you find private flood insurance from one of these local carriers.
What Does Flood Insurance Cover in Maine?
Flood insurance offers policies for both residential and commercial properties. Each policy includes two types of coverage, one for the structure of the building and one for the contents kept within. You can purchase one or both, depending on your coverage needs. Most homeowners opt to buy both, while renters only need to purchase contents coverage. Here is a breakdown of each type of flood insurance coverage:
- Building coverage: This will compensate you for damage to the building's structure or dwelling and its foundation, as well as to its plumbing and electrical systems, furnaces and air conditioning units, built-in appliances, and any permanently installed elements like carpeting over unfinished floors.
- Contents coverage: This will compensate you for losses or damage to property in your home or business, including furnishings, clothing, artwork, electronics, window air conditioners, portable appliances, and carpeting and flooring. Flood insurance won't cover contents kept in the basement of a home.
A Maine independent insurance agent can help ensure you get equipped with as much of each type of coverage as you need.
What Doesn't Flood Insurance Cover in Maine?
Maine flood insurance can't cover every type of issue related to the natural flooding of the home. Damage caused by mold, mildew, or moisture that the homeowner could've prevented is specifically excluded by flood insurance. You also won't be able to cover specific types of property like valuable papers, precious metals, and currency with flood insurance. Certain kinds of belongings and property outside the home, like hot tubs and decks, are also excluded from coverage. So is landscaping, including trees and shrubs. Further, flood insurance excludes coverage for belongings stored in your home's basement.
Is Flood Insurance Required in Maine?
Flood insurance is not required by Maine state law, but it's at least recommended for those who live in high-risk counties. Mortgage agreements may also make coverage mandatory, especially if your property is in a flood zone. Having flood insurance is always a safe bet, though, because home insurance specifically excludes coverage for natural flooding events.
About 15% of all Maine properties are at risk of flooding over the next few decades. Because of this, getting coverage sooner rather than later might be better. Having protection against natural flood damage can save you from potentially thousands of dollars in damage to your home.
Many people incorrectly assume that flood damage coverage is included in their home insurance, renters insurance, or business insurance policies. Unfortunately, it's not. If an overflow event destroys your property, you must cover the damage on your own unless you have flood insurance. If the flood disaster covers a large area and is severe, FEMA may step in to provide assistance, but this help comes only in the form of low-interest loans that you must repay to the government.
The following events can increase the risk of floods in Maine:
- Hurricanes or tropical storms work their way north, dropping lots of rainfall over an extended period
- Snowmelts in the spring when they coincide with heavy rains
- Nor’easters that work their way up the Eastern Seaboard
FEMA estimates that as little as two inches of floodwater in a 1,000-square-foot home can cause about $10,000 in damage. A flooded basement can result in the need to replace appliances that you typically have in your basement, such as your furnace and water heater, repair structural damage, and remove mold.
If the floodwaters rise to aboveground floors, the damage becomes far more expensive because the flooding will often damage your personal belongings, such as electronics and furnishings, beyond repair, requiring you to replace them. FEMA reports that the average paid flood insurance claim in the US is approximately $35,000.
Average Cost of Flood Insurance in Maine
How much is flood insurance in Maine? The average cost of a policy is $1,133 annually, which is certainly higher than the national average rate of $768 per year. Because Maine is a coastal state, the risk of flood damage can be considered much higher than in many other states, already contributing to the higher cost of flood insurance.
Premiums for flood insurance in Maine may also be higher than most of the nation due to how much coverage is required to protect your home properly. The deductible amount you choose can also impact the cost of your policy, as higher deductibles can lower your premiums, and lower deductibles can increase your monthly or yearly premiums. The age of the home you need to protect with flood coverage can also impact your policy's rates, as older homes can be more expensive to rebuild or replace if they get damaged or destroyed by a flood than newer homes.
Average Maine Flood Insurance Costs by City
Flood insurance costs in Maine vary by each city as well. The cheapest and best flood insurance rates in Maine are found in York County, at an average of $977 per year. Here are some counties in Maine and the average annual cost of flood insurance in each:
|Average Annual Cost of Flood Insurance
Maine Flood Insurance FAQs
Maine does not require flood insurance at the state level. However, many mortgage lenders may require you to have flood insurance in your agreement, especially if you live in a high-risk flood zone.
Several factors influence flood insurance rates in Maine. Some of these include your city, the age of your property, the amount of coverage you need, your claims history, the deductible amount you select, etc.
Flood damage can be too expensive for homeowners insurance providers to cover without raising rates significantly. By the 1950s, most home insurance companies had excluded flood coverage from their policies. Unfortunately, this left many homeowners and communities financially devastated when floods destroyed their property.
For this reason, Congress created the NFIP in 1968. The NFIP protects property owners from the overwhelming financial hardships flood damage can bring. The federal government backs all policies, guaranteeing coverage. Although this program operates at a loss, it has saved the country billions in bankruptcy claims.
The government cannot turn you down for a flood insurance policy because you live in a high-risk area or increase your rates if you file a claim. Flood insurance policies have standard rates across the country. Your rates are determined by your level of flood risk, which is determined by the flood maps in your area, and the amount of coverage you purchase.
The NFIP works through local agents, so you can purchase a policy from the same insurance agent you buy your auto or home coverage from. The average flood policy in Maine costs as little as $1 per day, which is a small price to pay to protect your investment in your home, business, or personal property.
Get Flood Insurance Quotes from an Independent Insurance Agent in Maine
Although the federal government provides flood insurance, you must purchase it through a qualified insurance provider. Securing a flood insurance policy for your home is easy with the help of a Trusted Choice independent insurance agent. These agents can help you determine how much coverage you need and can provide you with information about how much you can expect to pay for different levels of coverage.
Flood insurance policies take 30 days to take effect, so don't wait until a disaster is imminent. Find an agent in or near your neighborhood in Maine to get more information and start reviewing flood insurance quotes.