Whether or not you live near water in Vermont, a flood can happen to you. Floods are so disastrous that some areas now require homeowners to purchase flood insurance from the NFIP in order to ensure that they can recover from a flood. Make sure you have a flood insurance policy covering your home and belongings so you can have peace of mind. After the flood waters recede, your coverage will come through to repair the damage. Before committing to a specific flood insurance policy, make sure you get reliable quotes from a local insurance representative.
Vermont Flood Facts
- Floods are the #1 natural disaster in the United States.
- Vermont had floods in 2011 that claimed three lives and cost Vermont at least $1 billion in damage.
- In 1927, another large flood struck VT, causing damage of $8.4 billion (in 2011 dollars) and killing 84 people.
- The main reason for flooding is Vermont's topography, as the mountains force water to move down to lower areas instead of absorbing it.
- The average flood claim is $35,000.
Flood insurance is the only way to cover your belongings against flood damage. Many homeowners believe that their homeowners insurance will cover their belongings from damage, but this is usually not the case. Homeowners insurance typically covers wind, rain and fire but not floods and earthquakes.
The National Flood Insurance Program administers flood insurance, which is available to every homeowner. The NFIP is currently in the process of re-mapping the United States to adjust flood insurance rates, but insurance is still available.
What Is the National Flood Insurance Program?
The National Flood Insurance Program, or NFIP, is an insurance program started by Congress in 1968 to provide public assistance when a flood occurs. The NFIP provides flood insurance policies to homeowners, business owners and renters. The Federal Emergency Management Agency administers the program, but private insurance carriers sell the policies. The insurance covers damage from hurricanes, winter storms or heavy rains. The NFIP requires municipalities to adopt and enforce flood-abatement measures before being included in the Flood Insurance Program. Flood insurance is available only to consumers in communities that have joined the NFIP.
Since FEMA oversees the program, the premiums do not change from company to company. Insurers use many factors to determine premiums. However, they have a base price per area. The lower the risk of flood damage, the lower the premium often is.
You can purchase flood insurance at any time; however, all policies require a 30-day waiting period before you can file a claim.
Do You Have To Have Flood Insurance in Vermont?
While, legally, you do not have to have flood insurance, some lenders may require that you purchase a flood insurance policy when you buy a home. The NFIP has a website dedicated to consumers that shows the areas of the country with access to flood insurance and those without access.
What Type of Flood Insurance Is There in Vermont?
When it comes to purchasing flood insurance, there are many options:
- Standard flood insurance policy - dwelling: This policy is the most common form of coverage. It insures up to four single-family residential buildings and single-family dwelling units in a condo/townhouse building.
- General property: This coverage can cover up to five or more family residential buildings and non-residential buildings.
- Residential condominium building association policy: This coverage will ensure you have protection if you own a condo or townhome.
For standard dwelling coverage, there are two options available:
- Building property coverage - Covers up to $250,000
- Personal property coverage - Covers up to $100,000
You may purchase either of these options or both. You would do well to purchase both so that, if a flood occurs, you will have both the building and personal property covered under the flood insurance policy.
The insurer will exclude some items from coverage however. They will exclude any items outside the home, including cars, ATVs, boats, hot tubs and swimming pools. The insurer will also exclude currency, precious metals and stock certificates.
Additionally, insurers will also consider you home type when giving you quotes for flood insurance. Typically, basements, attics and crawlspaces may have limited coverage. Many policies do not cover items stored in a basement.
When choosing your flood insurance policy, you have to choose a method of reimbursement. There are two options to choose from:
- Replacement cost value: This is the cost to replace the damaged items, without taking into account depreciation over time. This is usually more expensive than actual cash value.
- Actual cash value: This is the cost to replace items at the time of the loss, taking into account depreciation. This usually is cheaper; however, your reimbursement will be much less than with replacement cost value.
What Factors Will Affect Your Quotes?
If your area is eligible for flood insurance, it's important to get coverage as soon as possible. When looking for flood insurance quotes in Vermont, having the following information available for your agent is vital to getting accurate quotes.
Your agent may ask the following:
- Location of home
- Age of home
- Building materials
- Number of stories (Including attic, basement, etc.)
- Value of home
- Value of belongings
- Any items stored in basement or attic and their value
- Preferred coverage amount
- Preferred deductibles
- Preferred reimbursement method
Insurance companies will use all of these factors when calculating your flood insurance quotes.
Get the Right Flood Insurance in Vermont
Flood insurance can be confusing. When deciding what coverage is best for you, it's important to have an agent by your side to help make sure you cover your home and belongings appropriately.
A Trusted Choice® agent is always available to help you find coverage, discuss options and even help you file a claim. Contact an agent to get started.