What is Flood Insurance?
Personal property insurance policies, such as homeowners and condo policies, protect against many perils. They often exclude flooding from their protections. Massachusetts residents who want coverage against flooding usually have to purchase a separate flood insurance policy.
Flood coverage can be used to insure many different types of personal property. Residents may be able to get policies for single-family homes, condominiums, mobile homes, vacation houses and other properties. Most insurers even offer policies for renters so they can protect their belongings.
Who in Massachusetts Needs Flood Coverage?
Many Massachusetts residents should consider purchasing flood coverage. As mentioned, policies are available for lots of different types of properties as well as for personal belongings.
In some areas that are at high risk of flooding, residents who own buildings may be required to purchase flood coverage. For example, residents who have financed a property that’s in a high-risk area with a federally regulated mortgage lender are generally required by law to maintain flood coverage on their property. Some lenders include such a requirement in their mortgages even when federal law doesn’t place such a stipulation.
Residents who own property in low-risk areas and aren’t required to carry flood coverage might still want a policy. Flood coverage is often highly affordable in these situations, and a policy could provide financial assistance if there ever was a major flood.
Who Can Purchase Flood Coverage Through the NFIP?
The National Flood Insurance Program is a federally run program that subsidizes flood coverage for property owners in high-risk areas. To purchase coverage through the program, residents usually have to own property that’s in a high-risk area and a participating community. The vast majority of communities in Massachusetts participate.
Residents who would like to learn more about this program and see if they qualify for it should speak with an insurance agent who specializes in flood coverage. A knowledgeable agent will be able to explain the details of the program and quickly look up whether a specific property meets the program requirements.
What Incidents Does Flood Coverage Protect Against?
Like other insurance policies, exactly what flood coverage protects against depends on a particular policy’s terms, conditions and exclusions. Nevertheless, there are some incidents that many policies may cover:
Other specifically mentioned incidents
Coverage for mudslides and mudflows, in particular, can vary substantially from one policy to the next. Residents who are especially interested in these protections should carefully review any policy that they’re considering with an experienced agent.
Does Flood Coverage Protect Against Frozen Pipes?
Notably, frozen pipes and other plumbing issues are absent from the above list of potentially covered incidents. Flood coverage normally doesn’t protect against plumbing issues, including frozen pipes, leaking drains, overflowing toilets and other issues.
Residents who would like coverage for plumbing issues should speak with an insurance agent about their homeowners insurance options. This coverage might not be a standard protection in a homeowners policy, but it’s often available as an optional homeowners insurance protection.
(Insurance agents who assist with flood coverage typically can also help with homeowners insurance.)