Q:

Where can someone purchase home insurance that protects property in the case of a flood?

A:

Quick Answer

People who need flood insurance for property at risk from flood can find a local agent by searching the database for the National Flood Insurance Program, found at flood.gov. The program was set up to protect homeowners who lived in areas at risk of flooding as the result of hurricanes, tropical storms and heavy rains.

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Full Answer

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is the program's parent organization and works with 80 private insurance companies on local and national levels to provide insurance to homeowners, renters and property owners.

In order for a community to qualify for the national insurance, it must agree to comply with FEMAs flood management standards. Once accepted, the private insurance agents sell insurance with national fixed rates that stay the same from location to location. These agents can be found through the "agents search" function on FloodSmart.gov.

The insurance covers two kinds of property that is claimed using different standards, building and contents. "Building" refers to the physical structure; the foundations, roof, walls, wiring and windows as well as stoves, refrigerators and built in appliances. "Contents" are the items inside the building, such as clothes, furniture, microwaves, electronics and cloth washers and driers, according to Nolo.

Property claims are calculated by replacement cost coverage, or the amount an item is worth without deprecating its value. Content claims are measured by actual cash value, the replacement cost adjusted for time and condition.

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