Who do I go to first for help with questions about my Flood policy?

You should call your insurance agent or insurance company first.

Does my NFIP policy cover all the buildings on my property?

The Standard Flood Insurance Policy provides coverage for one building per policy. The only exception is 10% coverage for a detached garage. However, the total payment for flood damage to the detached garage and the house together cannot exceed the building policy limit. For coverage to apply, the garage can only be used for parking and storage. Any other use would void this coverage, i.e. if the garage has a workshop, the coverage would not apply. All other buildings on the premises need separate coverage. Policy limits for residential properties are $250,000 and $500,000 for commercial properties.

Are the contents of my home covered under my NFIP policy?

Contents are not automatically included. If contents coverage is desired a specific amount must be named and a separate premium charged, but it doesn’t need to be a separate policy. Contents coverage limits are $100,000 for residential policies and $500,000 for commercial policies.

Will my home and its contents be covered in the event of flooding from a hurricane?

Damage from rising or tidal water is specifically excluded from a homeowners policy and must be covered by flood insurance issued under the National Flood Insurance Program. Flood insurance is a separate, special policy, but it can be purchased in conjunction with a homeowners policy and from the same office or agent. It is federally-subsidized coverage issued and administered by the Federal Insurance Administration, an arm of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

What is Actual Cash Value?

Actual Cash Value (ACV) is the cost to repair or replace an insured item of property at the time of the loss, less physical depreciation. The value of physical depreciation is based on the age and condition of the item. Personal property, i.e. contents, is always paid at ACV.

What is Replacement Cost Value?

Replacement Cost Value (RCV) is the cost to repair or replace an insured item of property at the time of the loss without a deduction for physical depreciation. RCV is available when the insured property is the primary residence and the amount of coverage is equal to 80% or more of the replacement cost of the building. RCV is also available for residential condominium buildings. There is no required amount of coverage, but residential condominium buildings not insured to 80% of replacement cost will experience a reduction in their claims payments.

Do I have to pay a deductible?

Yes, all policies have deductibles for both buildings and contents coverage (if contents coverage has been purchased).

I have a living area in my basement. Is that covered?

Strict exclusions of coverage apply in any basement. A basement is defined as any area that is below grade on all four sides. In some cases, sunken living rooms can be defined as a basement. Building coverage in basements is limited to systems that service the building, such as electrical boxes, heat pumps and air conditioners. Contents in basements are not covered with a few exceptions such as a washer, dryer, freezer and the food in it. Similar exclusions of coverage also apply in any enclosure below an elevated structure if the structure is post-FIRM.

What does Post-FIRM mean?

FIRM stands for Flood Insurance Rate Map. Post – FIRM means built after the effective date of the initial Flood Insurance Rate Map for the community or December 31, 1974, whichever is later.

Does my Flood policy cover my additional living expenses when I cannot return home?

No. There is no coverage for Additional Living Expenses or Loss of Use or Business Interruption.

Does my NFIP policy cover mold or mildew?

Damage from mold and/or mildew resulting from the after-effects of a flood is covered but each case is evaluated on an individual basis. Mold and/or mildew conditions that existed prior to a flooding event are not covered. After a flooding event, the policyholder is responsible for taking reasonable and appropriate mitigation actions to reduce and /or eliminate mold and/or mildew. Reasonable actions taken to mitigate mold and/or mildew are covered (for example, the use of responsible drying-out techniques or application of mildicide at a reasonable cost).

Does my Flood policy cover water backed up from the sewer?

Back up of water from sewers and drains is excluded, except when caused by a flood.

What is Increased Cost of Compliance, or ICC?

This coverage provides up to $30,000 to comply with the community’s floodplain management regulations when a building has been substantially damaged by flood and is in a designated floodplain.

Does my Flood policy cover landscaping or my deck?

No, there is no coverage for landscaping, trees, decks or outdoor furniture. Other exclusions are found in the Standard Flood Insurance Policy.

What is a Proof of Loss?

A Proof of Loss is a legal document that is your statement of the amount you are claiming under the policy. Under the NFIP policy, your adjustor may prepare a Proof of Loss as a courtesy. However, you, the insured, are responsible for submitting either the Proof of Loss prepared by your adjustor, or you may prepare your own. Generally, you must submit it to your insurance company within 60 days of when the damage occurred.

What do I do if I do not agree with my adjuster?

You should work with your adjustor as long as possible. Ask your adjustor to work with your contractor if your disagreement involves the building claim. If you cannot agree with your adjustor, ask for assistance from his supervisor. If you cannot resolve your differences, contact your insurance company.

If I do not have insurance but would like to purchase it, what do I do?
Call your insurance agent. Flood insurance is available to any homeowner or business owner who lives in an NFIP-participating community. These are communities that have agreed to pass and enforce certain storm water and flood plain management ordinances.

Information about flood insurance is also available on the web at www.fema.gov/nfip or www.FloodSmart.gov.