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Many homeowners do not realize that their basic homeowners insurance does not include protection from flood damage, and that flood insurance must be purchased as a separate policy.
The Division of Insurance does not regulate flood insurance. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administers the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a federally subsidized program available to any property owner —homeowners, renters, condominium owners and associations — whether or not the property is in floodplain. National Flood Insurance costs about $1 a day, on average, depending on location and the type of coverage chosen. Typically, there is a 30-day waiting period after applying and paying the first premium for the insurance to become effective. Coverage choices include insuring just the structure of a home or also including its contents.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) at www.floodsmart.gov. These maps help determine the amount of flood risk and if flood insurance is required. You can view the maps to determine if your property is in a flood-prone area. You can also enter your address to get an estimated flood risk profile.