Is the National Flood Insurance Program Available in Massachusetts?
The National Flood Insurance Program is a federally funded program for homeowners (and others who own property) in flood-prone areas. The program is only available to homeowners who live in participating communities, but many communities in Massachusetts participate. A full list of participating communities is available on FEMA’s site.
For those who live in a participating community, FEMA’s program is normally the most affordable way to purchase coverage.
What Types of Flooding Do Flood Policies Protect Against?
While exact terms and conditions vary, most flood policies offer protection against a range of abnormal water patterns. Depending on a policy’s exact language, these may include:
- Unusual waves
- Other events
Do Flood Policies Cover Leaking Pipes?
Most flood policies don’t cover water damage caused by leaking pipes, malfunctioning pipes or other incidents that aren’t natural disasters. Coverage for these sorts of incidents is usually obtained through a homeowners insurance policy, either as a standard or optional protection.
When Should Homeowners Purchase Flood Policies?
Homeowners who need or want flood coverage generally should purchase a policy when they buy their house. Those who already own their house typically ought to get a policy promptly.
Many policies come with waiting periods, such as a 30-day waiting period, during which time they don’t extend coverage. Thus, homeowners normally shouldn’t delay purchasing a policy until a major storm is in the immediate weather forecast.
What Limits and Deductibles Do Flood Policies Come With?
Like homeowners insurance policies, flood policies’ limits and deductibles vary. For example, policies may offer structural coverage up to a home’s actual cash value or its replacement cost (which is often higher).
Policyholders can sometimes also select the amount of personal property coverage they want, and they may be able to choose from several different deductibles. Many policies have separate deductibles for structural coverage and personal property coverage, and the available options for each are frequently similar to what’s found in homeowners policies.
Homeowners who would like help selecting the right limits and deductibles should speak with an experienced insurance agent who specializes in flood policies. Such an agent will know what types of options are available through the NFIP and on the non-subsidized market.
Do Flood Policies Include Additional Living Expenses Coverage?
Additional living expenses coverage normally helps homeowners who are displaced due to a covered claim pay for alternative lodging while their house is uninhabitable. This coverage is widely available through many homeowners policies, but it’s often not included in flood policies’ protections.
A knowledgeable agent can help homeowners make sure they find a combination of policies that provide sufficient protection, including additional living expenses coverage if the protection is desired.