Commercial Insurance

Did you know that 30% of flood insurance claims come from properties in low to moderate risk zones?

Floods are the #1 natural disaster in the United States, and the fact is, everyone lives in a flood zone - it's only a matter of whether it is a low, moderate or high risk zone. Many people mistakenly believe that flooding is limited to coastal areas. In fact, some of the most damaging flooding has occurred well inland. In 2004, Pennsylvania, which has no ocean coastline, received more than $175 million in flood insurance payments - second only to Florida.

 

Who is Required to Purchase Flood Insurance?

If you are buying or own a home or commercial property in a designated high-risk flood zone and receive a mortgage loan from a federally regulated or insured lender, your lender is legally bound to require you to get and maintain flood insurance. Some mortgage lenders offer their own flood insurance, however it is typically more expensive than what is available from the National Flood Insurance Program. If the property is not in a high-risk area, but is in a low-to-moderate risk area instead, the law does not require flood insurance. However, flood insurance is still available and you may be eligible for a low-cost Preferred Risk Policy.

The definition of a flood, according to FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program is as follows:

  • A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land area or of two or more properties (at least one of which is the policyholder's property) from: - Overflow of inland or tidal waters; or
    - Unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source; or
    - Mudflow; or
  • Collapse or subsidence of land along the shore of a lake or similar body of water as a result of erosion or undermining caused by waves or currents of water exceeding anticipated cyclical levels that result in a flood as defined above.

Myths about Flood Insurance

 

  • "My homeowner's policy covers flood damage." Homeowners policies do not cover flood damage. Purchasing flood insurance is the only way to protect your property from loss due to flooding.
  • "Flood insurance is not available in high risk areas." As long as your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program you are eligible to buy flood insurance.
  • "The cost of flood insurance is astronomical." A Preferred Risk Policy is available in low-to-moderate risk areas for as little as $119 per year.
  • "I can wait until it starts raining to buy flood insurance." There is a 30 day waiting period after you have paid the premium before the policy becomes effective. The exception is if you are buying flood insurance as part of closing on a property.
  • "If there is a flood I can receive Federal disaster assistance." Less than 50% of flooding incidents are declared Federal disaster areas.
  • "Flood insurance is only needed for homes." Flood insurance is available not only to homes, but also to condominiums, renters, and commercial properties.
  • "I don't live near a coastline so I don't need flood insurance." The definition of a flood, according to FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program is as follows: A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land area or of two or more properties (at least one of which is the policyholder's property) from:
    - Overflow of inland or tidal waters; or
    - Unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source; or
    - Mudflow; or
    Collapse or subsidence of land along the shore of a lake or similar body of water as a result of erosion or undermining caused by waves or currents of water exceeding anticipated cyclical levels that result in a flood as defined above.
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The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the New Flood Maps

FEMA has undertaken a Map Modernization project, which is a $1 billion national initiative mandated by Congress to provide new, highly accurate flood maps in a digitized format for 92 percent of the country. Our area has been directly affected by this project. Residents need to be aware that although they may have previously been in a low risk zone, the status of that zone may now have changed to a high risk zone. FEMA is encouraging residents to take advantage of the National Flood Insurance Program's "grandfather rules". In brief, the way grandfathering works is if your property has been newly designated into a high risk zone you may purchase flood insurance with the premium based on your previous low risk zone, as long as you do so before the new maps take effect. For details on FEMA's grandfathering rules and your eligibility please refer to the following news release from FEMA: http://www.fema.gov/news/newsrelease.fema?id=42385



To learn more about flood insurance here is a link you may find useful:

 

 

 

 

Important Note - The information on this site is general in nature. Any description of coverage is necessarily simplified. Whether a particular loss is covered depends on the specific facts and the provisions, exclusions and limits of the actual policy. Nothing on this site alters the terms or conditions of any policies. You should read the policy for a complete description of coverage. Coverage options, limits, discounts and deductibles are subject to availability and to individuals meeting underwriting criteria. Not all features available in all areas.