A typical landlord or tenant policy does not cover flooding, you need a separate flood policy. One option is the Federal Flood Insurance Program through FEMA, but you are limited to $250,000 of coverage in your home and then $100,000 of content coverage. Despite this option, many are not buying the extra protection.
“There is less than 10% of the population of North Carolina covered by a flood insurance policy. We are the seventh place, the seventh state in the country in flood events. Most of them are not on the coast, but rather flood events within the Piedmont area, so there is definitely the risk, a very high risk of flooding in North Carolina, just due to the nature of our coastline and our area of Piedmont and the number of storms we have in this part of the country every year, “Joanna Biliour is the director of operations at NC Rate Bureau said.
With the high risk, Biliouris said the NC Rate Bureau worked with the NC Insurance Commissioner’s office to offer homeowners another option, which is private flood insurance, which has no limits on the amount of coverage and is more comprehensive than federal flood insurance. The problem now is that no insurance company has started offering private flood insurance yet.
“We have a lot of companies that have expressed interest and are researching, you know, the various forms and the ratings that come with it, so I know it’s being evaluated right now,” she said.
What you can do now is easily check the risk of accessing the North Carolina Flood Risk Information System. Just enter your address and it shows the risk level for your location. You can even see an estimate of how much you will pay for flood insurance.
“They can tell on your property, which corners of your backyard might be in a flood-prone area,” Insurance Commissioner NC Mike Causey said.
Causey said the key now is to talk to your insurance agent to make sure you have adequate coverage.
“Make sure you have replacement coverage, because if you don’t, if you have a claim, you’re going to be very disappointed in what you get because that piece of furniture you bought is depreciated,” Causey said.
Another important factor to remember is don’t expect to buy flood insurance when you hear about a hurricane.
“If you called today and signed up for federal flood insurance, it would take thirty days for the policy to go into effect,” Causey said.
It is also advisable that you talk to your insurance broker now to see what your options are, as some companies provide coverage through an endorsement of an existing homeowner or renter policy.
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