Flood Insurance in Massachusetts

What is Flood Insurance?

Homeowners insurance policies offer protection against many different risks, but they commonly exclude floods from their coverage. Homeowners in Massachusetts who need or want coverage for potential flooding usually have to purchase a peril-specific flood insurance policy.

Flood policies can be used to protect just about any type of home. Insurance companies frequently offer policies for single-family homes, duplexes, townhomes, condominiums and more. Some companies even have flood policies for renters, generally to help protect their possessions from excess water.

Who in Massachusetts Needs a Flood Policy?

Many homeowners in the state may benefit from having a flood policy, and a number might even be required to purchase this coverage.

In flood-prone areas, purchasing flood coverage is generally wise. Sometimes, it’s even legally required.

In areas that flood infrequently, coverage might be so affordable that getting a policy makes sense even though the risk is low. Most regions could flood if the conditions were right, and recovering from a historic flood is typically expensive.

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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.

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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:

  • Floods
  • Unusual waves
  • Mudflows
  • Mudslides
  • Other events

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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.

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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.

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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.

How Can Homeowners Get Flood Policies?

For help finding flood insurance to protect your home, contact the independent insurance agents at Scotti Insurance Agency. Our team has helped many homeowners in Massachusetts get flood policies for their properties, and we’re here to help you too.

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