Because of its location, New Hampshire escapes many natural disasters. Earthquakes are not common in this part of the country and hurricanes rarely make it this far up the coast. In addition, the region is too mountainous and cool for tornadoes to be a threat. The one thing that residents should be concerned about, however, is flooding. Towns and cities surround many of the more than 16,000 miles of rivers and streams in the state. Your homeowners insurance policy will not cover you against flood damage so it is important that you supplement your policy with New Hampshire flood insurance coverage.
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New Hampshire Flood Insurance Facts
- Currently, 209 NH communities participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
- In recent years, 8,870 flood insurance policies were in effect in this state
- Rockingham County residents hold 50% of all New Hampshire flood insurance policies
- Insurance coverage for the state totals more than $1.6 billion
What Is the NFIP?
In the 1950s, flood insurance was included with many homeowners policies, but after several disastrous floods, these companies found that they did not have sufficient funds to cover the drastic amount of damage a flood can cause. By the 1960s, insurance companies had completely removed flood insurance coverage from their policy offerings, and the brunt of damage costs fell to the homeowner. This led to financial ruin for many communities when faced with a major flood.
In 1968, Congress developed the National Flood Insurance Program, or NFIP, to address this problem. This program provides flood insurance to those in need. Anyone who lives in a participating community is eligible for this coverage regardless of their flood risk. You cannot be turned down for coverage, nor will your rates increase because you have filed a claim.
Do You Need New Hampshire Flood Insurance?
The frequency of heavy snows, snowmelt, and storms can cause rivers and streams to overflow quickly. Flood insurance can provide important protection against these occurrences. Some areas in the state are more prone to flooding than others. During previous years, the previous administration has declared three flood disasters here. You can visit the FEMA website, which has maps of floodplains, to get an idea of how much risk you face. Floods can happen anywhere, however. Even if you do not live in a high-risk flood zone, you can still be a victim of serious flood damage. Flood insurance rates are less expensive for those who live in low-risk areas.
New Hampshire Flood Insurance Coverage Options
If an overflow event damages your house, flood insurance can provide benefits up to your coverage limit for repairs or rebuilding; but not all damage is covered. Your policy does not cover mudslide damage, even if the damage was caused by heavy rains and flooding. However, if your home has any damage from erosion directly related to uncommon water movement, it is covered. As with any insurance policy, it is important to review the entire policy to understand exactly what is and is not covered. When you purchase a New Hampshire flood insurance policy, you can choose to purchase structural coverage, contents coverage, or both.
- Structural coverage: This covers damages to the structure of your home including its foundation, plumbing, and electrical systems, and most major appliances. You can purchase up to $250,000 in structural coverage.
- Contents coverage: This covers damages to your personal property including clothing, furniture, electronics, portable appliances and certain home improvements such as carpeting and draperies. You can purchase up to $100,000 in contents coverage.
If you are a renter, you will want to purchase contents coverage only. Similarly, landlords may be interested in structural coverage only. Most homeowners, however, will want to purchase both.
Get a Quote Tailored to Your Needs
An independent insurance agent can help you compare policies and find one tailored to your unique needs. Your member agent can compare multiple New Hampshire flood insurance quotes to find one that meets your budget and can locate extra coverage if needed. Do not wait until the next flood warning. Flood insurance coverage does not go into effect until 30 days after you purchase it.
Contact an agent right in your area to learn more about flood insurance.