Floods present a serious problem in several parts of Maryland. Unfortunately, flood damage is excluded from coverage by nearly all home, renters, and business insurance policies. If you own property in Maryland, you may want to strongly consider buying a supplementary flood insurance policy.
Independent agents who live and work in your community understand the potential for floods in your area. These agents can help you review flood maps, assess your risks, and if needed, cover your property with an affordable flood insurance policy. Contact an independent insurance agent near you to learn more.
What Is Flood Insurance and Why Is It Important?
Floods can cause a great deal of expensive damage, which is why many insurance companies stopped including them in the coverage provided by their home, renters, and business insurance policies.
Without a flood exclusion, these policies would simply have become too expensive for most home and business owners to carry. However this created a huge problem for many people who had properties in flood-prone areas since they had no way to cover their assets against flood damage.
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was created in 1968 to mitigate this problem. This program, which is administered by FEMA, ensures that all property owners have access to guaranteed and affordable flood insurance.
Around 7% of all properties in Maryland have at least a 26% chance of sustaining significant flood damage in the next 30 years. While this may seem like a somewhat low percentage, it constitutes more than 155,000 homes and businesses in the Old Line State.
Surprisingly, only about 65,000 (less than half) of these at-risk properties are covered by flood insurance. Having a policy can help you rest assured that if a flash flood affects your area, you will not need to worry about facing large financial losses.
Is Flood Insurance Required in Maryland?
Flood insurance is not required by law. However, if you live in a FEMA-designated flood zone and you are still paying on a mortgage or have taken out a home equity loan, your lender will most likely require you to carry flood insurance until the loan is paid in full.
For properties that are owned outright with no liens against them and those that have a low risk of sustaining flood damage, the decision to carry flood insurance is fully optional.
How Much Does Flood Insurance Cost in Maryland?
The average cost of flood insurance in Maryland is $616 a year. This is a very reasonable price considering the average flood claim in this state is $22,200.
Rates can vary from one property owner to the next because they are based on a few considerations like:
- Details about the property you are insuring including its age, value, structure, style, and elevation
- How much structural coverage you want to buy
- How much property coverage (contents insurance) you want to buy
- Your property’s assessed flood risk according to a FEMA-drawn flood map
The greater the risk that your property will sustain significant flood damage, the more your policy will cost.
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What Does Flood Insurance Cover in Maryland?
Flood insurance is made up of two parts: structural coverage and contents coverage. Policies through the NFIP have different limits for individuals and businesses.
- Structural coverage: This pays to repair damage to the structure of your property, including its foundation, hot water heater, built-in appliances, and plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems.
- Homeowners may purchase up to $250,000 in structural coverage.
- Businesses may purchase up to $500,000 in structural coverage.
- Contents coverage: This pays to repair or replace damaged property in the insured structure.
- Homeowners may purchase up to $100,000 in contents coverage.
- Businesses may purchase up to $500,000 in contents coverage.
You can choose to purchase just one type or both types of coverage in amounts that are appropriate to your specific coverage needs.
For instance, a renter may only need to purchase contents coverage while a homeowner may want structural coverage as well as enough contents coverage to cover property on the first floor of the home.
What Is Not Covered by Flood Insurance in Maryland?
As with any type of insurance policy, flood insurance has some limitations. For instance, you should not expect your policy to cover:
- Damage caused by earth movement like landslides
- Mold, mildew, or moisture remediation
- Personal property kept in a finished basement
- Damage to property kept outside your home including things like decks, swimming pools, hot tubs, fencing, and landscaping features
- Loss or damage to currency, precious metals, or important papers
- Temporary living expenses for homeowners who must leave their homes while repairs are made
- Revenue losses experienced by businesses if they need to close while repairs are made
- Claims for damage that occurred within 30 days of the purchase of your policy.
Be sure that you are familiar with your policy’s exclusions before you purchase your coverage.
Why Work with an Independent Agent in Maryland?
If you are interested in learning more about flood insurance, you can turn to a local independent agent for guidance and advice. These agents can answer your coverage-related questions, help you review your property’s flood risk, and, at your request, assist you with finding an affordable policy.
It doesn’t cost anything to work with an independent agent. Arrange an obligation-free consultation with an experienced independent insurance agent near you to get started.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Jeffrey Green
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