Friday, September 22, 2017

Flood Insurance Policies

Flood losses are not covered under normal homeowners’ insurance policies.

If your home or business is located in a high-risk flood area (known as a Special Flood Hazard Area or SFHA) and you have a loan through a federally regulated or insured lender, you will be required to carry flood insurance. If you do not have a loan, you are strongly encouraged to carry coverage as these areas have a 26 percent chance of flooding over a 30-year period and most homeowners insurance policies do not provide coverage. The average flood claim in Yavapai County since 1978 has been over $96,000. If you live outside a high-risk area, the risk of flooding is still there; it is just reduced, not removed. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) provides a lower-cost policy for homes and business in these moderate- and low-risk areas, with residential coverage starting at less than $200 a year. Nearly 30 percent of all flood claims in Arizona occur in these areas.

Flood insurance is available to all communities who participate in the federally sponsored National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA manages the NFIP, which makes federally-backed flood insurance available in communities that agree to adopt and enforce floodplain management ordinances to reduce future flood damage. Yavapai County is a participating community in the NFIP and also a participant in its voluntary Community Rating System (CRS), which recognizes communities for exceeding the minimum NFIP guidelines. Yavapai County is currently at a CRS Class 6 designation, which relates to a 20% reduction on flood insurance premiums for homes and businesses in high-risk areas.

If your area is receiving new flood maps (known as Flood Insurance Rate Maps, or FIRMs), your insurance requirements and rates may be affected. To learn more about potential impacts and options, click here.

Due to recent flood insurance reform legislation passed by Congress, insurance rates may be impacted, especially for older secondary homes and businesses built before August 19, 1985. Visit FEMA’s reform legislation webpage or talk to your insurance agent for additional information.
Flood insurance is available:

  • The Yavapai County Flood Control District assists the residents and businesses of the unincorporated area of Yavapai County and the incorporated areas that are listed on the Flood Protection Information page, in determining whether a property is in a flood hazard area.  Flood insurance can not only be purchased for communities  listed on the Flood Protection Information page, but other communities as well.
  • Flood insurance coverage is available for residential and non-residential buildings, as well as for contents in the buildings.
  • There typically is a 30-day waiting period before flood insurance goes into effect.
  • Flood insurance is sold by licensed insurance agents that may write directly with the NFIP or represent one of about 75 insurance companies that have an agreement to write the program on the NFIP’s behalf. All companies use the same rates and underwriting guidelines.

For more information on flood protection, visit FEMA’s Flood Protection Information, or for information on flood insurance or to find an insurance agent, visit Floodsmart.gov.

Flood Insurance: How It Works

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