Do I need FLOOD INSURANCE if I don’t live near the coast?
Floods can happen anywhere. More than 20 percent of flood claims come from properties outside the high risk flood zones. All banks require flood insurance for property located in high risk zones A or V.
While home insurance policies in Massachusetts and Rhode Island do cover water damage from faulty plumbing systems, leaky hot water tanks or water damage from roof leaks, all home policies specifically exclude coverage for floods even for flooding from a hurricane.
If you live in a moderate- or low-risk area, flood insurance might not be mandatory — but it is advisable, as many victims of last year’s record flooding in Texas can attest.
Who offers flood insurance and what does it cover?
In selecting flood coverage in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, there are two basic options:
National Flood Insurance Program: The NFIP is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), with coverage limits capped at $250,000 for your home and $100,000 for belongings.
Private Flood Insurance: If you live in a high-risk zone, you can get higher coverage limits with private flood insurance — typically up to $800,000 for your home, and $250,000 for belongings.
We have been successful in finding lower flood insurance premiums in the Private Flood Insurance market for property in either the Preferred or low risk flood zones of B, C or X and in the A – AE zones.
The Private Flood Insurance market has not been as competitive in the most hazardous flood zones V (the V describes the velocity of water that may cause extensive damage). They are doing extensive risk analysis of a property before offering coverage.
How do I determine my flood risk?
We can do a flood zone determination for you and provide a quote for this important coverage. Preferred Risk policy premiums are often less than $500 per year.
What is insured under a Massachusetts or Rhode Island flood policy?
Building Property coverage includes:
- The insured building and its foundation.
- The 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 an unfinished floor. (not in basements)
- Permanently installed paneling,wallboard, bookcases, and cabinets and window blinds.
- Debris removal.
Personal Property coverage includes:
- Personal belongings such as clothing, furniture, and electronic equipment.
- Portable and window air conditioners.
- Portable microwave ovens and portable dishwashers.
- Carpets not included in building coverage (see above).
- Clothes washers and dryers, Food freezers and the food in them.
- Certain valuable items such as original artwork and furs (up to $2,500).
Unfortunately Massachusetts and Rhode Island Flood insurance coverage is limited in areas below the lowest elevated floor (including crawl spaces) depending on the flood zone and date of construction and in basements regardless of zone, or date of construction.
FEMA Flood Map Service Center: https://msc.fema.gov/portal/search
FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program: https://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program
How can I pay less for FLOOD Insurance? https://www.fema.gov/how-can-i-pay-less-flood-insurance
FEMA’s Flood Mitigation Resources: https://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program-and-mitigation-resource-list
Elevating your house: https://www.fema.gov/pdf/rebuild/mat/sec5.pdf