Flooding is a common occurrence in the Midwest and a threat to virtually renters and homeowners, including those who live in low-risk areas. In fact, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reports that one in three flood disaster assistance dollars is spent on individuals who live outside of high-risk flood zones. At Binford Insurance, we know the high cost of flooding and the damage it leaves behind. We help Indianapolis area customers protect their homes and belongings against detrimental loss caused by rising groundwater – something that is not generally covered on homeowners and renters insurance policies.
Where to Purchase Flood Insurance
On average, flooding is the costliest disaster in the U.S., making it difficult for private insurers to cover – particularly in high-risk areas. That is why the federal government established the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which provides broad coverage for policy-holders against structural damages and the loss of personal property. Although FEMA oversees the program, anyone wishing to purchase flood insurance must do so through an authorized insurance agent. This assures that affordable flood insurance protection is available to virtually anyone who needs it, including those who live in geographical areas determined to be ‘high-risk’.
Types of Flood Insurance from the NFIP
National Flood Insurance Program policies can cover two types of losses: structural damages and personal property damages. At Binford Insurance, we generally recommend both coverage types to homeowners, whereas renters typically need flood coverage for personal property alone. The NFIP limits structural damage coverage to no more than $250,000 in communities covered by the Regular NFIP Program, and personal property limits are set at a maximum of $100,000. For individuals who need more coverage than is available through the NFIP, supplemental flood insurance policies – also known as ‘excess flood insurance’ – may be available on the private market. An agent here at Binford Insurance can assist you in better understanding your coverage options both through the NFIP and private insurers.
Do You Need Flood Insurance?
Flood insurance is one of the most under-purchased coverage types. Often, it is wrongly assumed that homeowners or renters insurance covers flood damages. Other times, there are incorrect assumptions that a flood cannot happen at high elevations or in areas deemed ‘low’ or ‘moderate-risk’. There are also those who believe that disaster assistance from FEMA will provide the funds necessary to recover after a flood. In reality, this assistance is designed to pay for emergency living expenses and property cleanup only. It is generally too little assistance to pay for the replacement of personal belongings or cover the cost of rebuilding or repairing a home. Furthermore, a flood does not assure that you will receive FEMA assistance, as it is generally reserved for devastated households in federal disaster areas.
If you do not purchase insurance prior to a flood, you could be left with tens of thousands of dollars in damages from even just a few inches of standing water. You will likely be responsible for paying for your own recovery costs, whether out-of-pocket or via loan. Although federal loans may be available to help with the process, these loans typically require repayment with interest.
Know Your Risks
It’s easy to determine your personal flood risk by using the search tool available from FEMA. Note that flood zones can change over time due to changes in land development and other factors. If you live in a particularly high-risk area, your mortgage lender may require flood insurance per the terms of your lending agreement. Likewise, you may receive notice of new flood insurance requirements if your home is re-zoned into a new high-risk area. However, we generally recommend flood insurance to all homeowners and renters, including those with low-risk designations. Approximately one in four flood insurance claims come from policy-holders in low and moderate-risk areas. With flood insurance from Binford Insurance, you can feel confident that the cost of clean-up, mold removal, rebuilding, and replacing your belongings will not cripple your finances in the event of a flood-related loss.
Indianapolis Flood Insurance Quote
Historically, nearly one-fourth of the state of Indiana was covered by wetlands. Add to that the number of major rivers and tributaries across the state, and it’s easy to see why flooding here is not an ‘if’, but rather a ‘when’. Whether do to snow-melt, excessive rainfall, or soil conditions that prevent water absorption and runoff, don’t let the risk of flooding threaten your real estate and belongings.
Indianapolis has been a participating community in the National Flood Insurance Program since 1984, making it possible for area residents to purchase flood insurance protection for structural and personal property damages. Whether you need one or both coverage types, we here at Binford Insurance can help you purchase a policy that fits your needs. We can also assist you in updating your homeowners coverage to include broad protections for other types of water damages, such as sewer backups and burst pipes.
Note that flood insurance coverage through the NFIP is typically subject to a 30-day waiting period before it becomes effective. Exceptions are sometimes made for applicants who are purchasing a new home or who own homes in geographical areas that were recently re-zoned.