What is Flood Insurance?

Homeowners insurance policies cover a variety of perils, but most don’t provide protection from floods. Vermont residents who want to insure their residences against damage caused by flooding typically have to purchase flood insurance apart from their homeowners policy.

Flood coverage is a form of insurance coverage that protects residences from a specific peril: abnormal water patterns. Flood policies are available for all kinds of residences, including single-family homes, apartment buildings, and condominium complexes. Some insurers even offer policies for people who lease their residence.

What Kinds of Events Does Flood Insurance Cover?

This insurance coverage is commonly called “flood coverage” because floods account for many of the claims that are filed against policies. Flooding is just one of the abnormal water patterns that a policy may provide coverage for, though.

In addition to covering flooding caused by rainstorms and snowmelt, which towns that are in valleys can be susceptible to, policies often also cover erosion caused by waves and changing currents. Coverage for erosion may be especially important to homeowners who have property in located on Lake Champlain, where waves can eat away at shorelines.

Some policies also provide coverage for mudflows and mudslides. Mudflow and mudslide coverage might be particularly important to homeowners who have homes on mountain slopes (these coverages are less common than the others, though).

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What’s the National Flood Insurance Program?

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is a program that was founded in 1968. Among other things, it helps property owners in flood-prone regions obtain affordable flood coverage.

In order to get coverage through the NFIP, a homeowner’s community must participate in the program. Residents who aren’t sure whether the program is available to them can ask an insurance agent in their area.

Who Needs Flood Coverage?

Many homeowners in Vermont may want to purchase a flood policy, as coverage for floods is rarely included in homeowners policies. Whether coverage is right for a particular homeowner depends on how likely their home is to suffer flood damage, how devastating such damage could be, and how well they’re able to self-insure.

Flood Insurance for Landlords

Landlords who own rental property in the state also often are wise to consider purchasing this coverage, although the specific protections they need are slightly different from the protections homeowner should have.

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Similarly, condo owners and residents who rent apartments may also want to think about getting a policy. In addition to weighing the factors that homeowners consider, condo owners and apartment renters should also take into account what floor their unit is on. While floods can damage entire buildings, units on lower floors are generally more susceptible to damage than units on upper floors.

How Can Vermont Residents Get a Flood Policy?

Regardless of whether residents are able to purchase flood insurance through the NFIP or have to purchase a policy on the open market, independent insurance agents can help residents search for, compare and select flood policies. Agents are well-versed in the coverages that flood policies offer, and independent agents can compare many policies that are available to a resident regardless of what insurance companies are offering the policies. To begin their search for flood coverage, Vermont residents simply have to get in touch with a licensed, independent agent.

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