Do you need Flood Insurance?

With the recent rain storms in Southeastern Massachusetts many of our customers have called and asked us for information relating to Flood Insurance.

Do I need Flood Insurance?

First, your standard Homeowners insurance policy does not cover damage from floods. But did you know that floods are one of the most common hazards in the United States. Also, unlike Homeowners insurance which is designed bring back your home and its contents to the same condition before the loss; flood insurance is designed to get you “back on your feet”.  


Most people believe they do not need flood insurance unless they own beach front property. The fact is that only about 3% of all flood losses are associated with beach front homes. Homes which are located in “high hazard” areas should consider purchasing flood insurance since they have a 26% change of having a flood loss over a 30 year mortgage. Often, flood insurance is a condition imposed by lenders (assuming you require a mortgage) for those purchasing a home in a high risk area. Some lenders may require flood insurance in “moderate to low risk” area’s as well. 


About 25% of all flood claims are associated with homes located in a “low risk” area. So you need to consider very carefully your individual situation. Obviously the premium cost associated with flood insurance will vary by area. Information regarding a community’s flood hazard is typically located in the Town Hall.


OK, I need it where do I get it?

That is easy. Twinbrook Insurance Brokerage can provide you with flood insurance through FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program or one of the Insurance Carriers we represent.


What else do I need to know?

Flood insurance has a 30 day waiting period. An exception to the waiting is if flood insurance is a condition in obtaining a mortgage. In this case the flood insurance is effective on the closing date.


There are limits on how much coverage will be provided. The maximum coverage for a residential dwelling is $250,000. The maximum coverage on contents is $100,000. 


What is covered?

Building Property coverage includes;

  • Building and its foundation (including piers, pilings, or other support structures)
  • Electrical and Plumbing Systems
  • Heating and Air Conditioning Systems, including water heaters
  • Refrigerators, stoves, and built in appliances (dishwashers)
  •  Permanently installed carpeting
  • Permanently installed paneling, wallboard, bookcases and cabinets
  • Window Blinds
  • Detached Garages (limit of 10% of Building coverage)
  • Debris removal

Personal Property coverage includes;

  • Personal belongings such as cloths, furniture, and electronic equipment.
  • Curtains
  • Portable window air conditioners
  • Microwave ovens, portable dishwashers
  • Carpets not included under Building coverage
  • Cloths washers and dryers
  • Freezers and the food in them
  • Certain “valuable items” such as artwork and furs, but only up to $2,500.

What is covered in my Basement? 

Flood insurance coverage is limited in areas below the lowest elevated floor, including traditional and “walkout” basements, crawlspaces, and “elevated buildings”.

Coverage is generally limited to the “equipment necessary to inhabit the building”.

This coverage includes,

·         Utility connections

·         Sump pumps

·         Well water tanks and pumps

·         Fuel or water tanks

·         Furnaces, hot water heaters, heat pumps

·         Unpainted drywalls and ceilings

·         Cloths washers and dryers

·         Freezers

·         Air Conditioners

·         Clean up expenses


What is the difference between Replacement Cost Value and Actual Cash Value?

Replacement Cost is the cost to replace the part of the building which is damaged with out taking into consideration depreciation (wear and tear). To be eligible for Replacement Cost, three conditions must be met;
    1. The building must be a single family dwelling.
    2. Must be your primary residence (live there at least 80% of the time).
    3. Building coverage must be at least 80% of full replacement cost or is the maximum available.

Actual Cash Value is the cost to replace the damage, less depreciation.

Personal Property and contents are always valued using Actual Cash Value. Most building repairs are done using replacement cost value however there are some building items, such as wall to wall carpeting which are valued at Actual Cash Value.


Is there a deductible?

Yes, standard flood policies are sold with deductibles of $750. Higher deductible are available to reduce your premium, up to a maximum of $5,000. Your deductible gets applied separately to your building and contents coverage’s.    


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