Property insurance policies generally offer protection against a range of potential risks, but water damage from flooding is rarely included in their lists of protections. Homeowners and other property owners in Massachusetts who want to safeguard their buildings from floods frequently need to purchase a peril-specific flood insurance policy.
Flood policies are used to insure a variety of different properties. There are policies available for homeowners, condo owners, landlords and businesses. Even renters can often get coverage for their personal property.
Many property owners can benefit from having flood coverage in place, and some might even have to purchase a policy.
In regions where floods are frequent, purchasing coverage is often wise. It also can be required in certain areas that are especially prone to abnormal water patterns.
In regions where floods are unlikely, coverage is sometimes so affordable that it simply makes sense to get. Almost any place could flood, and small premiums can provide great peace of mind if the unlikely happens. Recovering from even a minor flood can be quite expensive, after all.
The National Flood Insurance Program is a federal assistance program that’s overseen by FEMA. The purpose of the program is to help property owners in regions that flood frequently afford coverage.
Property owners in participating communities (and only those in participating communities) can purchase substantially reduced policies. For those who can take advantage of the program, this is almost always the cheapest way to procure coverage.
Many communities in Massachusetts participate in the NFIP. FEMA lists participating communities on its website, or residents can contact an insurance agent who’s familiar with flood policies to find out whether they can take advantage of the NFIP. A knowledgeable agent will be able to quickly check whether the NFIP is an option, and they can assist with the purchasing process regardless of whether coverage is obtained through the program or the private marketplace.
Many flood policies cover a range of abnormal water patterns, which frequently include rising water levels associated with floods. Some of the other patterns that a policy might cover are abnormal waves, mudflows and mudslides.
(The exact incidents that any specific policy covers are determined by that policy’s paperwork.)
Issues like leaky faucets and frozen pipes generally aren’t an abnormal pattern that flood policies cover. Instead, these types of issues usually fall under the domain of homeowners, commercial property or a similar policy. They might be offered as a standard protection, optional protection or rider in such policies.
Additional living expenses coverage is typically used to help manage the extra living expenses that policyholders incur if they’re displaced from their residence by a covered disaster. It might cover meals, lodging or similar costs. The coverage is widely available through property policies, but it’s usually not part of flood policies.
Property owners who want this coverage even for a flood should talk with an experienced insurance agent. An agent who’s helped many people find flood policies will know how to get robust protections through a combination of flood and homeowners (or other property) coverage.
For help finding flood insurance that’ll protect your property and belongings, contact the independent insurance agents at Dempsey Insurance. Our agents have helped many Massachusetts property owners insure their buildings against floods, and we’re here to assist you too.