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Isn't flood covered under my homeowners insurance?

No! Call us for a flood quote immediately: 732-462-8343.

Generally, what does flood insurance cover?

Generally, the flood insurance policy covers physical damage caused to the building and/or its contents by a flood. Below are some more detailed examples of what is and isn't covered by flood insurance.

Is flood insurance mandatory, or will my lender require it?

If the property is located in an SFHA and has a mortgage from a federally regulated or insured lender, your client will be required to purchase flood insurance for the property. If the property is located in a moderate- to low-risk area, flood insurance is not mandatory; however, it is strongly recommended, and some lenders still might require it.

What is a flood elevation certificate? Must I have one?

An Elevation Certificate is a form showing the elevation of a building’s lowest floor relative to the height water would reach in a serious (1 percent annual chance or “100-year”) flood. The certificate is used to show compliance with community floodplain management ordinances and to determine the proper flood insurance premium rate. You will mostly likely will need an Elevation Certificate if the building is located in a high-risk flood zone (Special Flood Hazard Area) and you are writing a new policy. In the past, only homes built after the community's initial Flood Insurance Rate Map was put in place (post-FIRM construction) required Elevation Certificates in high-risk areas. But a new law makes an Elevation Certificate necessary for many pre-FIRM buildings as well.

Check whether the community participates in the Community Rating System (CRS). Communities participating in the CRS are required to maintain a copy of Elevation Certificates for new construction or substantial improvement in high-risk flood areas made after the community joined the CRS. An additional resource for the Elevation Certificate is the building's previous owner.

What "flood zone" do I live in and why is that information needed?

It is important for you to know if your property is located in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), which is shown on the FIRM as zones beginning with the letters A or V, that there is a high risk of flooding. If the property is located in Zone B, C, or X, it is considered to have a moderate-to-low risk. Check with your county for that information if needed.

Does flood insurance cover on an Actual Cash Value basis, or with Replacement Cost Coverage, and what is the difference?

Replacement Cost Value (RCV) is the amount it would cost to replace property using the same materials and construction. Actual Cash Value (ACV) is the replacement cost value at the time of the loss, less the value of its physical depreciation. Building items such as carpeting are always adjusted on an Actual Cash Value basis.

The Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP) offers Replacement Cost Value for building coverage only under two forms, The Dwelling Form and the Residential Condominium Building Association Policy (RCBAP) Form. Contents coverage is always paid based on Actual Cash Value.

To be eligible for Replacement Cost Value under the Dwelling Form, certain conditions must be met. First, the building must be your primary residence, meaning you or your spouse live there at least 80 percent of the year. Second, it must be insured for at least 80 percent of its full Replacement Cost Value or the maximum amount of insurance available under the NFIP. The RCBAP Form always provides building coverage at replacement cost value; however, the form includes a coinsurance clause. This coinsurance clause requires that the building must be insured for at least 80 percent of its full replacement cost or a coinsurance penalty will be applied at the time of loss.

Who do I call with a flood insurance claim?

You would call us (or your agent if not insured with us), and we would start the claim process for you.

Can't I just buy flood insurance right before a flood occurs? Usually there is advance warning.

Unlike some other lines of insurance, an approaching storm does not trigger a moratorium on flood insurance purchases. However, once you have applied and paid the flood insurance premium, there usually is a 30-day waiting period before the policy takes effect.

Though it cannot cover a “flood in progress,” your newly effective flood insurance policy will provide coverage for any future flooding. The bottom line? Do not wait until after the storm warnings to buy flood insurance!

Is there a lot more to know about flood insurance?

Yes! That's why you need an agent like us to help you. Call us today at: 732-462-8343.

StreetSmart Risk Managers, Inc.
"Top 100 Agency for Outstanding Achievement in 2011!"

StreetSmart Risk Managers Inc. | 208 South Street | Freehold NJ 07728 | Phone: 732-462-8343 | Fax: 732-462-8344

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