Floods present a serious risk in some parts of Massachusetts, but many insurance policies will not cover the damage caused by this hazard. If you own property in a flood-prone part of the Bay State, you may want to give serious consideration to covering it with flood insurance.
Local independent agents understand your flood risks because they live and work in your community. These agents can review flood maps with you so you can assess your flood risk. Then, if you feel it is needed, your agent can help you cover your property with an affordable flood insurance policy.
Contact an independent insurance agent near you to get more information and to start reviewing customized flood insurance quotes.
What Is Flood Insurance and Why Is It Important?
According to FEMA, just one inch of rainwater in a home can cause as much as $25,000 worth of property loss. However, flood damage is excluded from coverage by most home insurance, renters insurance, and business insurance policies. This can present a problem for property owners in flood-prone areas.
Fortunately, in 1968, Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to ensure that all property owners in the US have access to guaranteed and affordable flood coverage.
Around 11% of all properties in Massachusetts have a 26% or greater chance of sustaining significant flood damage over the next 30 years. That is nearly 240,000 homes and businesses. However, only about 65,000 of these at-risk properties are covered by flood insurance.
By purchasing a flood insurance policy, you do not need to worry that a storm surge or a flash flood will cause you large financial losses.
Is Flood Insurance Required in Massachusetts?
Flood insurance is not required by law. However, you may be required by your lender to have this coverage if both are true:
- You currently have a mortgage or a home equity loan
- Your property is located in a FEMA-designated flood zone
Otherwise, this insurance is optional, but you might want it anyway. FEMA reports that 20% of all flood claims filed are for properties that are situated in low- or medium-risk areas.
How Much Does Flood Insurance Cost in Massachusetts?
The average cost of a flood insurance policy in Massachusetts is around $1,294 a year but rates are expected to increase over the next few years due in large part to climate change causing more frequent and damaging floods.
Factors that can influence how much your policy will cost include:
- Your property’s flood risk according to a FEMA-drawn flood map
- How much structural coverage you want to purchase
- How much contents coverage you want to purchase
- The amount of your deductible
Naturally, a flood insurance policy for a property located in a low-risk flood zone will cost considerably less to insure than one that is in a high-risk zone.
When deciding whether a policy is worth the cost, keep in mind that the average payout on a flood insurance claim in Massachusetts is $15,400.
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What Does Massachusetts Flood Insurance Cover?
Flood insurance is made up of two parts: building coverage and contents coverage. Policies purchased through the NFIP cap coverage limits differently for individuals and businesses.
- Building coverage: This pays to repair damage to the structure of your home or business. It includes coverage for things like the building’s foundation, built-in appliances, and plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems.
- Homeowners can purchase up to $250,000 in coverage.
- Businesses can purchase up to $500,000 in coverage.
- Contents coverage: For homeowners, this can cover damage to personal belongings like furniture, clothing, and electronics. For businesses, it can cover things like merchandise, computers, supplies, and other business-owned property.
- Homeowners are able to purchase up to $100,000 in coverage.
- Businesses are able to purchase up to $500,000 in coverage.
It is important to be aware that there are separate deductibles for your building and your contents coverage. This means that if you are filing a claim for both types of coverage, you will need to pay the deductible for each one.
What Is Not Covered by Massachusetts Flood Insurance?
As with any type of insurance, flood insurance has some limitations. For instance, you should not expect your flood insurance policy to cover:
- Personal property in a finished basement
- Damage caused by earth movement, like landslides and mudslides
- Cleanup and remediation of mold, mildew, or moisture problems
- Damage to landscaping features or outdoor structures like decks, hot tubs, and swimming pools
- Loss of or damage to currency, precious metals, and important papers
- For homeowners, temporary living expenses if you must seek alternate accommodations while repairs are made
- For businesses, compensation for financial losses incurred if you must close your business down while repairs are made
So long as you are aware of what your policy will and will not cover, you will not find yourself facing unpleasant surprises when you file a claim.
Why Work with an Independent Agent in Massachusetts?
If you want to learn more about flood insurance, you can turn to a local independent agent for information. These experienced agents can answer your insurance-related questions, help you evaluate your property’s flood risk, and assist you with buying an affordable flood insurance policy, if you want one.
Arrange an obligation-free consultation with an independent insurance agent to get started.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Jeffrey Green
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