Do you know how to get flood insurance and what it covers you against? Did you know that if you collected any money from FEMA, you are required to have flood insurance or you do not qualify for future FEMA assistance? Did you know that you can purchase flood insurance even if you don’t live in the 100 Year Floodplain (1% Annual Chance of Flooding)? The information on this page will help you understand the importance of flood insurance and provide links to help you find an agent.
Contact your Insurance Agent, or find one here.
Everyone is at risk of flooding. Homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover damage caused by natural flooding. However, because every town and village in Schoharie County participates in the National Flood Insurance Program, you can purchase a separate flood insurance policy. The insurance is backed by the Federal Government and is available to everyone – even properties that have been flooded in the past, and properties that are not in the Special Flood Hazard Area.
If your property has been flooded in the past and you have received any form of assistance from FEMA, you MUST obtain and maintain flood insurance on your property for as long as you live there. If you do not, you will not be eligible for future FEMA assistance.
If you don’t know what kind of flood hazard zone your property is located, you may visit the following FEMA Flood Map Service Center to find out. Simply enter your address and view the map.
Enter your address to see if you are in a special flood hazard area (SFHA)!
If your property is not located in the SFHA, you may qualify for lower-cost Preferred Risk Policy. These policies are very affordable and provide the comfort of knowing your home and contents are safe from flood damage.
1. FEMA only pays me if my area is declared a state of emergency anyway, so I don’t need insurance.
FALSE! The National Flood Insurance Program pays out for all flooding damage to its policy holders regardless of having a declared disaster.
2. If there is a declared disaster, FEMA will pay for my damage.
FALSE! FEMA assistance, is the last resort. Owners will still file an insurance claim (homeowners and flood) and be denied coverage. Then they must apply for a low interest loan. If denied, FEMA may offer assistance for basic needs and temporary living expenses – up to a maximum amount (currently less than $32,000). Once you accept FEMA assistance, you must agree to obtain and maintain flood insurance for as long as you own the home.
3. My sump pump quit working last spring and my basement flooded and my homeowners insurance covered the loss – so I don’t need flood insurance.
FALSE! This is misleading because if your sump pump fails to function and creates basement flooding that wouldn’t have occurred if the pump was working, this is flooding caused by mechanical failure and is covered by homeowners insurance. However, if the flooding would have happened even if the sump pump WAS working – only flood insurance would cover the loss.
So how do I know how much flood insurance would cost me? Flood insurance rates are determined by the elevation of your home or business compared to the base flood elevation for your property. Newest regulations require homes lowest floor be 2 feet above the base flood elevation; however, many older homes were built before flood maps were created and flood regualtions came into effect – these homes/buildings are referred to as “pre-FIRM” and will likely cost higher insurance rates (becuase the risk of flooding is higher).
To determine your building elevation, you must have a flood elevation certificate prepared by a licensed surveyor, engineer or architect. The cost for a flood elevation certificate can run between $200-$500. Use your Internet search engine to find someone in your area or consult the local yellow pages.
What is ICC Coverage and when can you use it?
If your home or business is damaged by flood, you may be required to meet certain building requirements in your community to reduce future flood damage before you repair or rebuild. To help you cover these costs, the NFIP includes Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) coverage for all new and renewed standard flood insurance policies.
For more information, visit the FEMA’s Floodsmart webpage below.
The official site of the NFIP