Although homeowner insurance does provide some coverage on water damage, it does not provide coverage for flood damages. No type of flood damages is covered regardless of the source. So, you will need to purchase a flood coverage from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to protect your home from the Harvey flooding. You can purchase the NFIP insurance through an insurance company that participates in the NFIP program. If you don’t know any insurer that participates in the NFIP program, you should contact the NFIP hotline number and ask for an agent referral.
With the NFIP flood insurance, you can claim up to $250,000 of compensation for damages on the home structure. Additionally, it also provide a coverage of up to $100,000 for the home contents. The contents coverage is not initially included so you have to purchase it separately to get coverage for contents that have been damaged by the flood.
The compensation will depend on the actual cash value of the home contents. The compensation for the home structure will be the same as the cost for building the house before it is damaged by the flood. The actual cash value is the original value of purchasing the item minus the depreciation value. Therefore, you will get lesser compensation for older items. The NFIP flood insurance can put a limit on the coverage of the belongings that are stored in the basement.
If you rent a home, you also need to purchase the NFIP flood insurance because the renter’s insurance does not provide coverage against flood. You will need to contact your landlord and ask him whether the home you are renting is already covered by the flood insurance before buying. It must be reminded that flood damages do not just happen to houses located near to sea and river but it can also happen to houses that are located inland. For example, many houses inland suffer from water damages as a result of the melting of snow.
You should take the action to buy the flood insurance policy now if your house is situated in a flood zone. It will be too late if you wait until the hurricane season to buy the flood insurance because of the 30 days waiting period for the activation of the policy. If you don’t want to purchase the flood insurance from the NFIP, you can purchase it from a private insurance company.
Many private insurance companies offer excess flood insurance for homeowners who want insurance protection for flood damages. Excess flood insurance may provide a higher coverage compared to the NFIP flood insurance. You can buy excess flood insurance from home insurance company or insurance agent that work for a specialized insurer.