Flood Insurance – Water, Water Everywhere

By: Advocate Brokerage

Rosalyn Binday, Founder
Advocate Brokerage Corp.

Water, Water Everywhere…

It seems like “hundred year” storms are coming our way on a more regular basis. If you think flooding is only a coastal event, think again. Much of the northeast was inundated, including homes on high ground that are not in a flood zone and have never been flooded before. All homeowners should be aware of the following:

  • The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is available to almost everyone.
  • For those who live in favorable flood zones – which applies to most homes in this territory – the cost is about $405 per year and less for homes with no basement.. It is higher for those in less favorable zones, but coverage is generally available.
  • The National Flood policy covers the home foundation including posts, pilings, and piers or other support systems. Also included is certain mechanical equipment necessary for the habitability of the building, such as furnaces, hot water heaters, clothes washers and dryers, food freezers, air conditioners, heat pumps, electrical junctions, and circuit breaker boxes.
  • The National flood policy does not cover your furnishings, floor coverings, carpets, media systems or the pool table in your basement, if it is below grade. Strange as it sounds, not all basements are below grade (and in places like New Orleans and most of Florida, where there are no basements).
  • However, if the flooding goes up to the first floor, which is unlikely in the northeast where most homes have basements, federal flood insurance would cover up to $250,000 for the house and $100,000 for the contents. Most people have a at least a $1,000 deductible.
  • Some regular homeowner policies offer limited coverage for water damage; not from flooding, but for sump pump failure. In homes that have a sump pump that fails, policy owners can usually recoup $5,000-$10,000 for damage depending on the insurer and the limit listed on the policy.
  • Advocate Brokerage is fortunate to represent the handful of high end carriers that offer their own specialized flood products for existing insurance clients. It would provide coverage for contents in the basement and real property (i.e. wood panelling, wall-to-wall carpeting, built-in bookcases). These are companies like Chubb, ACE, Chartis, and Fireman’s Fund. In addition, PURE offers a difference in conditions policy designed to fit over the NFIP policy.
  • Don’t wait until the next torrential downpour, as there is a 30-day waiting period before the NFIP policy goes into effect. CALL US NOW at Advocate Brokerage, 820 Scarsdale Avenue, Scarsdale, (914) 723.7100.
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