Flood Insurance in New Hampshire
What is flood insurance?
Floods are a potentially serious risk, and one that’s excluded from most homeowners insurance policies. To help protect their properties against this risk, New Hampshire property owners can purchase flood insurance.
Flood insurance offers coverage during heavy storms when water levels rise, making it one of the most valuable forms of coverage to have. Without flood coverage, properties often aren’t protected.
Who in New Hampshire is flood coverage right for?
Most New Hampshire properties that are in a FEMA high-risk flood zone generally need flood coverage. Other residential and commercial properties can greatly benefit from it too.
What kinds of properties can flood policies cover?
Flood policies are widely available for most types of properties. Policies may cover single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, multi-unit investment properties, commercial properties, mixed-use complexes and more. There are even policy options for renters.
What risks do flood policies protect against?
Flood policies may cover a range of potential risks where natural but atypical water events cause damage. Depending on a policy’s specific terms, it might cover:
- Floods (caused by rising water levels)
- Abnormal waves (along the coast)
- Mudslides and mudflows (in certain cases)
- Other risks (as defined by the policy)
An insurance agent who specializes in these policies can review exactly what a particular policy will protect against.
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Coverages to Consider
- Building Coverage
- Personal Property Coverage
- Basement Contents Coverage
- Pool Repair and Refill Coverage
- Unattached Structures Coverage
- Temporary Living Expense Coverage
What coverages do flood policies come with?
Flood policies can provide multiple coverages. The coverages included within NFIP policies (see below) are stipulated by the federal program, but private market policies with additional coverages are available if property owners want more options. Some coverages to cinder include:
- Building Coverage: Normally protects the primary building on a property. Coverage may also extend to attached features, such as fences.
- Personal Property Coverage: Normally protects personal belongings on a property, such as furniture, electronics, clothing, appliances and similar. Unlike some homeowners policies, coverage is usually restricted to when belongings are at the property. Additionally, items stored in a basement or crawl space may be excluded.
- Basement Contents Coverage: Normally protects personal belongings that are stored in a basement or crawl space.
- Pool Repair and Refill Coverage: Normally protects an above-ground or in-ground pool. Features around the pool may fall under building coverage or personal property coverage.
- Unattached Structures Coverage: Normally covers secondary structures, possibly including streamside gazebos, waterfront boathouses, retaining walls and similar.
- Temporary Living Expense Coverage: Normally covers lodging, meals and similar when a property is uninhabitable.
Should property owners purchase flood coverage through the NFIP or the private market?
The National Flood Insurance Program is a federally funded program that subsidizes flood coverage for buildings in high-risk areas. FEMA maps dictate what’s considered high risk.
In order to purchase flood coverage through the NFIP, a property must be in a high-risk area and the community must participate in the program (almost all communities do). This tends to be the most affordable way to get flood coverage for qualifying properties.
Just because a property isn’t in a high-risk area doesn’t mean it's immune from potential floods or mudslides. In this case, coverage can usually be attained through the private market. Premiums are often reasonable when properties are in lower-risk areas.
If property owners are in a high-risk area but want extra protections, they, too, might consider a private market policy. For example, property owners with large waterfront buildings might need the higher building coverage limits that a private market policy affords.
What is a flood policy’s waiting period?
The waiting period of a flood policy is normally the number of days before a policy’s protections go into effect. The waiting period prevents property owners from purchasing a policy the day before a storm strikes.
NFIP policies normally have a set waiting period of 30 days. Private market policies can have much shorter waiting periods, sometimes as little as 10 days.
How can property owners in New Hampshire get flood insurance?
If you need help insuring a New Hampshire property against flood and other atypical water damage, contact the independent insurance agents at Portsmouth Atlantic Insurance. Our agents will help you evaluate flood insurance policy options, and select the best one for your property.
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