National Flood Insurance Program
If you don’t have flood insurance, talk to your insurance agent. Homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover damage from floods. However, because Cleveland participates in the National Flood Insurance Program, you can purchase a separate flood insurance policy at a reduced cost. This insurance is backed by the Federal government and is available to everyone, even for properties that have been flooded, or even for those not located in a special flood hazard area. There is a 26% chance of experiencing a flood during the life of a 30-year mortgage compared to a 4% chance of fire.
Some people have purchased flood insurance because the bank required it when they got a mortgage or home improvement loan. Usually, these policies just cover the building’s structure and not the contents. During the kind of flooding that happens in Cleveland, there is usually more damage to the furniture and contents than there is to the structure. If you are covered, double-check that the building coverage is adequate and make sure you have contents coverage. Remember, even if the last flood missed you or you have done some flood proofing, the next flood could be worse.
Flood insurance covers direct losses caused by surface flooding, including a river flowing over its banks, a lake or ocean storm, and local drainage problems. The NFIP insures buildings, including mobile homes, with two types of coverage; building and contents.
Don’t wait for the next flood to buy insurance protection. There is a 30-day waiting period before the National Flood Insurance Program coverage takes effect. Contact your insurance agent for more information on rates and coverage. For more information, you can download a copy of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) publication F-061 "Your Homeowners Insurance Does Not Cover Floods".
Flood insurance is mandatory for any federally backed mortgage on buildings located in the special flood hazard area.