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What to Know Before Buying a Flood Insurance Policy

Ask your agent the right questions

Here are helpful questions to ask your agent about flood insurance:

  • Does my community participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)? Flood insurance from the NFIP is only available in participating communities, but most communities do participate. Your agent can tell you if your state and community participate, or you can look it up online in the Community Status Book.
  • What flood zone do I live in? What is my property’s flood risk?
  • How long does it take for my flood insurance policy to go into effect? It typically takes 30 days from the day you purchase flood insurance for the policy to go into effect. When purchasing a policy, ask your agent when coverage will start.
  • Is flood insurance mandatory for my property? Will the lender require it?
  • Do I qualify for a lower-cost Preferred Risk Policy (PRP)?
  • Does my community participate in the NFIP’s Community Rating System (CRS)? If so, does my home qualify for a CRS rating discount?
  • What will and won't be covered?
  • Will the federal government back my flood insurance policy?
  • How much coverage should I get for my building and for my contents?
  • How can I reduce the cost of my flood insurance?
  • Are there additional expenses or agency fees?
  • Will my policy provide Replacement Cost Value or Actual Cash Value — and what’s the difference between the two?
  • Who should I call if I have a flood claim?
  • How can I pay for my policy?
  • How do I renew my policy?