Floods are the most common natural disaster in West Virginia and in the United States, and having insurance is your best chance of recovering should a flood affect you. Your largest investment is probably your home. Is it adequately protected? Before searching for flood insurance quotes, be sure to keep the following in mind. You didn't have to witness Huntington's Great Flood of 1937 to understand the damage flood waters can do in West Virginia. Homes miles from the Ohio River Valley endure floodwaters all across the state. Find out what type of flood insurance can protect your home and valuables from these common events.
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Flood Facts To Think About
- Homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage.
- You can buy flood insurance no matter your flood risk.
- Just because a flood has never happened at your house’s location does not mean it will never happen. Living away from streams and rivers does not guarantee your house will never flood.
- Flood insurance is far better protection than depending on federal disaster assistance, which is available only if a disaster is federally declared.
Do You Live in a High-Risk Area?
The Federal Government developed the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS) in 1990 as a program for recognizing and encouraging community flood plain management activities that exceed the minimum NFIP standards. The National Flood Insurance Reform Act of 1994 codified the Community Rating System in the NFIP.
Under the CRS, the Government adjusts flood insurance premium rates to reflect the reduced flood risk resulting from community activities that meet the three goals of the CRS:
- Reduce flood losses
- Facilitate accurate insurance rating
- Promote the awareness of flood insurance
Several communities in West Virginia are actively pursuing entry into the CRS program. The city of Philippi in Barbour County is the first community to join. Consequently, residents and businesses in Philippi enjoy a 10 percent discount on their flood insurance premiums.
What Is Flood Plain Management?
According to the WV Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, the purpose of flood plain management is to reduce flood damage. Flood plain management is the operation of community programs for preventive and corrective measures. These measures take a variety of forms and generally include zoning, subdivision or building requirements, and special-purpose flood plain ordinances.
Communities agree to adopt and enforce flood plain management ordinances to make flood insurance available to home and business owners. To date, 55 counties and 214 communities in West Virginia have voluntarily adopted and are enforcing local flood plain management ordinances that provide flood loss reduction building standards for new and existing development.
What Is Flood Insurance?
In the last several years, increased attention and concern have focused on the impact of natural disasters, including flooding. This is particularly true at the state and local level, where disasters can devastate lives, cause millions of dollars in damage and affect the economic viability of West Virginia communities for many years following an event.
Planning is crucial when it comes to flood insurance. Flood damage can happen to anyone, and it is important for West Virginians to realize that damage may occur to properties that are located in flood zones and those that are not. Coverage is available even if your property is not located in a flood zone. You can purchase coverage through most property and casualty insurance agents licensed in the state to cover almost any structure and its contents, including rental properties.
The Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP) defines "flood" in part as “A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land areas from overflow of inland or tidal waters from the unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source.”
Flood insurance can pay the cost to replace your home and property in the event of water damage due to floods.
What Does Flood Insurance Cover?
- Building property:
- The insured building and its foundation
- Electrical and plumbing systems
- Central air conditioning equipment, furnaces and water heaters
- Refrigerators, cooking stoves and built-in appliances such as dishwashers
- Permanently installed carpeting over unfinished flooring
- Permanently installed paneling, wallboard, bookcases and cabinets
- Window blinds
- Detached garages (up to 10% of building property coverage) – detached buildings (other than garages) require a separate building property policy
- Debris removal
- Personal contents property:
- Personal belongings such as clothing, furniture and electronic equipment
- Portable and window air conditioners
- Portable microwave ovens and portable dishwashers
- Carpets that are not included in building coverage
- Clothing washers and dryers
- Food freezers and the food in them
- Certain valuable items such as original artwork and furs (up to $2,500)
Flood insurance does not cover the following:
- Damage caused by moisture, mildew or mold that could have been avoided by the property owner
- Currency, precious metals and valuable papers such as stock certificates
- Property and belongings outside of an insured building such as trees, plants, wells, septic systems, walks, decks, patios, fences, seawalls, hot tubs and swimming pools
- Living expenses such as temporary housing
- Financial loss caused by business interruption or loss of use of insured property
How Expensive Do Flood Insurance Quotes Tend to Be?
Flood insurance is affordable. Preferred risk flood insurance policies for those living in low to moderate risk areas of West Virginia start as low as $129 per year.
The average flood insurance quote tends to be around $400 to $600 a year for an average of $100,000 of coverage. Protect yourself, your home, your family and your financial future.
Don't Let Your Dreams Go Out with the Tide
Now that you are equipped with the facts, search for those affordable flood insurance quotes to protect your West Virginia home. Peace of mind is just a click or phone call away when you contact a knowledgeable Trusted Choice® agent.