Nevada is the driest state in the nation. Resident may therefore wonder why they should give a second thought to flood insurance. The fact is that, though rare, floods do happen in this state, and when they do, they can be disastrous, particularly for those who are not insured. Nevada's Department of Business and Industry reports that about one-third of all homeowners mistakenly believe that their home insurance policy will cover flood damage. These people often learn, too late, that they are wrong. Make sure that you have proper coverage so that a flood does not cause you unmanageable financial losses. The following information can help you decide on quotes and the right coverage for your Nevada home.
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Nevada Flood Insurance Facts as Reported by FEMA
- There are currently about 14,300 flood insurance policies in effect in this state.
- Less than 2% of Nevada residents have flood insurance.
- NV residents filed only nine flood insurance claims.
- These claims resulted in $51,651 in compensation paid to policyholders.
- That equates to an average of about $5,739 per claim.
Why Do Residents of Nevada Need Flood Insurance?
Because Nevada is a very dry state, many people assume it has no risk of floods. However, floods can, and do, happen there. Take, for example, the breach of the Truckee Canal in Fernley, NV, in 2008 and the flooding that followed. It is not uncommon for extended rainfall to cause the Truckee and Carson Rivers to overflow their banks, and, in the springtime, for the melting snow from the Sierra Nevada Mountains to cause the Walker River to flood.
FEMA reports that as little as 2 inches of floodwater in a 1,000 square foot home can cause as much as $10,000 in damage.
Floodwaters in a basement can necessitate the need to replace appliances such as furnaces and hot water heaters. Floodwaters can also result in structural damage and hazardous molds. When floodwaters rise to aboveground floors, the damage is far more severe, requiring you to replace flooring, electronics, furniture and other property. This can add up quickly. In fact, FEMA reports that the average paid flood insurance claim in the United States is approximately $35,000.
What Is the NFIP?
By the late 1950s, many homeowners in America faced a serious problem. Most home insurance companies had completely stopped covering flood damage because the costs were too high, and there was no such thing as a flood insurance policy. A major flood had the power to destroy an entire community, and those who sustained major damage to their homes often went into bankruptcy.
The U.S. Congress responded to this problem by creating the National Flood Insurance Program in 1968. This program offers federally backed flood insurance coverage to home and business owners who are at risk for flood damage. The program itself operates at a loss, but because it has saved this country billions of dollars in potential bankruptcy claims since its inception, it is good for the nation.
If you live in a participating community, as many in Nevada do, insurers cannot turn you down for a flood insurance policy, even if your home or business is located in a high flood-risk area. Furthermore, your rates will not increase just because you have filed a claim. Rates for these policies are standard across the country and determined by your flood risk and by the amount of coverage you purchase.
What Coverage Does Flood Insurance Provide?
NFIP-backed flood insurance policies are available to both individuals and business owners in Nevada. Whether you are purchasing a personal or business policy, you will have to option to purchase one or two different coverage types. These are structural coverage and contents coverage. Most homeowners opt to purchase both. If you rent your home, contents coverage is sufficient, whereas, if you are a landlord, you will likely only need structural coverage.
- Structural coverage: This coverage will reimburse you for the costs associated with repairing damage to the structure of your home or business. Homeowners can purchase up to $250,000 in building coverage; business owners, on the other hand, can purchase up to $500,000 in coverage. This coverage protects the following:
- The structure’s foundation
- Plumbing and electrical systems
- Heating and air conditioning units, with the exception of portable units
- All built-in appliances
- Permanently installed carpeting over unfinished floors
- Contents coverage: This coverage can reimburse you for the costs associated with repairing or replacing lost or damaged property that you keep within your home or business. Individuals can purchase up to $100,000 in contents coverage, while business owners can purchase up to $500,000. The following items are covered:
- Furniture, artwork and other décor
- Clothing, jewelry and accessories
- Computers and other electronics
- Window-type (portable) air conditioners
- Appliances other than built-in appliances
- Merchandise and inventory if insuring a business
- Carpeting and flooring that is installed over finished floors
It is important to note that flood insurance does not provide coverage for contents kept in a finished basement. If flooding damages your finished basement, you will only be able to claim damage that falls under the structural coverage category.
Get Flood Insurance Quotes from an Agent in Nevada
The federal government offers and backs flood insurance policies, but you must purchase your policy through a qualified insurance provider. Securing a flood insurance policy for your home or business is easy when you enlist the help of an independent insurance agent in the Trusted Choice® network. These agents can help you assess your insurance needs and can provide you with quotes on how much you can expect to pay for different amounts of coverage.
Contact a Trusted Choice agent in or near your Nevada neighborhood for information and quotes regarding this important coverage.