As climate change increases the likelihood of floods, getting flood insurance coverage is more critical than ever. But before you do that, understand what it costs and how much coverage you need. Those who live in moderate-to-low-risk zones are not required by federal law to purchase flood insurance, but they may want to consider it. Floods are one of the most common and devastating natural disasters in America. That’s why it’s essential to understand your options and get the proper coverage. For instance, flood insurance can protect your home and personal property even if you live outside a high-risk area. This is especially true if you have a mortgage that requires you to have flood insurance.



Flooding is one of the most common natural disasters in the United States, affecting almost every region. And, although most people live in areas with a low risk of flooding, it’s essential to understand how flood insurance works and how you can protect yourself from loss if your home or business is at risk of flood damage.

The coverage provided by the North Carolina flood insurance program differs from other types of property and casualty policies, including standard homeowners or renters insurance. It also comes with several exclusions and limitations listed in the policy.

For example, flood insurance doesn’t cover damage from windstorms. If your roof or walls are damaged by hail or wind, you can still file a claim under your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy.

In addition to the coverage, as mentioned earlier, limitations, you may also have to pay a deductible to file a claim under your flood policy. Your deductible is calculated based on the amount of building property and personal property coverage you purchase in your policy.

If your home or business is in a high-risk flood zone, you’ll likely be required to carry a flood insurance policy to obtain a loan or refinance. If you need to know whether you are in a high-risk area, ask your mortgage lender or the local officials that work in your community.

A flood insurance policy protects against the financial losses caused by flooding. It differs from most homeowners’ policies’ basic hazard insurance coverage.


The location of your home is a critical factor in determining whether you should buy a flood insurance policy. A property’s location is determined using known dimensions and the map scale. You can find this information on a tax assessor’s map, a plat map, or in a legal description. Depending on the map you use, it may also include measurements on a panel affixed to the back of the map. You’ll need to know the map number and use it with the other information you’ve collected to get a more precise picture of your property’s location.

The flood maps show areas with high, moderate, and low flood risks as a series of zones. You may be able to find information about your property’s location on a flood map. These maps, known as Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs), show the level of risk for flooding in different community areas and are available from local repositories, such as town halls or county buildings. Flood maps are constantly redrawn, so your property’s flood risk could change. Buying a policy before your area is designated as a high-risk area can help you avoid paying higher premiums later.


The main reason that homeowners and renters often opt for flood insurance is that the damage caused by water-related natural disasters events like hurricanes, tornadoes, and flooding can be devastating. This damage can cost tens of thousands of dollars to repair and rebuild, making it vital for people to be prepared.

However, many policies include exclusions for a wide range of losses that are not covered. These exclusions can be frustrating, but they are standard components of property insurance contracts.

One of the most common exclusions in most residential property insurance contracts is water exclusion, which essentially eliminates coverage for damage caused by floodwaters. It also excludes coverage for other types of water damage, such as sewer backups, sewage spills, and leaking pipes.

Understanding this type of exclusion is essential, as it can be a significant stumbling block for a homeowner when filing a claim.

Another exclusion that may impact the value of a homeowner’s possessions is the depreciation of their personal property over time. This can affect the cash value of items like furniture and carpeting, adjusted at their replacement cost value, or ACV.

Claims history

For buyers, the claims history of a flood insurance policy can be a good indicator of potential risk. A buyer should request that the seller disclose all flood claims filed on the property in the last 20 years and make a condition of the contract to close on the sale that will cancel the purchase agreement if the seller fails to provide this information.

A flood insurance claim will likely involve a loss adjuster who visits the home to assess damages and determine how much you should be reimbursed for the damage. After the adjuster estimates how much you need to pay, you’ll sign a proof of loss form that lets your insurer know what items you’re seeking reimbursement for.

Inventory your belongings before the adjuster arrives to help your claim go more smoothly. This will make it easier to provide the details that your adjuster needs, including brand names, model and serial numbers on appliances, and pictures or videos of the damaged possessions.

It’s also a good idea to consider how much it will cost you to replace your possessions after they’ve been destroyed by flood water. This can help you decide whether or not it’s worth the extra expense to add flood insurance.