National Flood Insurance Program

By | September 17, 2013

Helping You Deal with Flood Damage the Afford

The National Flood Insurance Program or NFIP is the national flood assistance program offered by the United States government to all citizens who want to be protected from the losses brought by flooding.

If you have recently suffered from a flood that ravaged your home or brought any damage of any sort or if you want to protect yourself from the possibility of flood damage, the NFIP is the best and most cost-effective insurance program you can rely on.

Most homeowners insurance plans these days do not normally cover flood damage unless you specifically purchase a flood insurance rider. And these optional flood insurance coverages can often send your monthly premiums skyrocketing. Thus, the National Flood Insurance Program offers a less expensive solution to your flood insurance problem.

The insurance plan is offered by the government through FEMA or Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA was set up to assist citizens who have faced damages caused by natural disasters in receiving help from the government.

When is Damage Covered? 

Any damage suffered after a flood can be covered by NHIP provided that you are a planholder and you availed of the complete coverage. Your NHIP insurance plan can cover two categories of properties: building and contents.

If you have building coverage, your plan will cover the building, its foundation, the electrical system, the plumbing system, any heating or cooling system in place (including air conditioning and water heaters), some appliances (namely refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers, and most built-in appliances), and permanent carpeting.

If you have contents coverage as well, the plan will also pay for damages caused to furniture, electronic equipment, clothing, curtains, portable appliances, washers and dryers, and removable carpeting.

Who is Eligible? 

NFIP plans can help keep all bases covered, providing you with maximum protection for a very minimal cost. However, the NFIP flood insurance coverage is only available to resident of communities participating in the program.

If your community does not participate, you cannot avail of the program’s benefits. A community participating in the program is required to adopt floodplain management ordinances as a way of reducing flood damage in the event of a flood. Over the years, participating communities experience reduced flood damage costs and buildings that comply with NFIP building standards suffer from 80% less damage in case of flooding.

What Affects NFIP Flood Insurance Rates

FEMA encourages citizens living in flood-prone areas to take out flood insurance. They release maps, which are called FIRM or Flood Insurance Rate Map, to let citizens know which areas face a greater degree of risk.

You can order one of these maps from FEMA for a minimal charge or just visit your local government office, which likely has one on file. The map shows flood zones and floodplain boundaries. The FIRM is regularly updated, taking into account any changes to the geographical landscape of an area.

This map is one of the factors that affect the flood insurance rates charged by the National Flood Insurance Program. Nevertheless, despite high risk factors, the NHIP keeps costs low to serve as an incentive for more communities to participate in the program and therefore help reduce national flood damage rates.

How to Avail of an NHIP flood insurance plan

The flood insurance policies offered by FEMA are provided by private insurance companies as well, but these companies are already under an arrangement with the government so they are predisposed to offer privileged rates to citizens who purchase insurance through the NFIP instead of privately.

A list of participating companies can be found on the FEMA website. You may transact directly with the companies or their agents to avail of an National Flood Insurance Program coverage; just tell them you’re looking for federal flood insurance.