Understanding your policy terms
For detailed information about your flood insurance policy, review the Flood Insurance Manual or contact your insurance agent today.
You can also call the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Help Center at 800-427-4661.
For residential properties, you can secure coverage up to $250,000 for the building and $100,000 for the building contents.
For commercial properties, you can secure coverage up to $500,000 for the building and $500,000 for the building contents.
Contents and building coverage are purchased separately, and there are always separate deductibles. Unless you have contents coverage, your flood-damaged belongings are not covered.
If you live outside of the high-risk area, NFIP’s Preferred Risk Policy (PRP), offers the option for combination coverage for both contents and building, but there are always separate deductibles.
If you live in the high-risk flood area and have a government-backed mortgage, you are required to purchase flood insurance.
Your lender may set a maximum amount for your deductible.
As with other insurance plans, a higher deductible will lower the premium you pay but will also reduce your claim payment, meaning you will need to cover the difference out of your own pocket.
Separate deductibles apply to building and contents coverage. This means that if your building and contents are both damaged due to a flood event, both deductibles are applied.
Waiting periods for your coverage
Typically, there’s a 30-day waiting period from date of purchase until your flood insurance policy goes into effect.
No waiting period:
- If you purchase flood insurance while making, increasing, extending, or renewing your mortgage loan.
- If you change your flood insurance coverage on your insurance policy renewal bill.
- In the event of flooding after a wildfire, if a property is impacted by flooding on burned federal land and the policy is purchased within 60 days of the wildfire-containment date. Waiving of the waiting period is determined at the time of claim.
1-day waiting period:
- If a home or business is newly designated to be in the high-risk flood area and you purchase flood insurance within the 13-month period following a map update.
Policy term and expiration
NFIP flood insurance has a policy term of one year.
All policies expire at 12:01am on the last day of the effective term, but you remain covered for 30 days after the expiration.
Claims for losses that occur in this grace period will be honored, provided that the full renewal premium is paid by the end of the 30-day grace period.
Letting your policy lapse could cause you to lose any discounted rates you have been receiving, and you may not be in compliance with the terms of your mortgage agreement.