Flood damage to homes, apartments, and businesses is a major concern for many North Carolina residents. Flood damage is typically not covered by renters and homeowners insurance. Flood insurance covers buildings and contents. Unfortunately, flood insurance is only available to a very small number of North Carolina residents.
Flood insurance is affordable for many. However, the cost of coverage will depend on your location. Although insurance companies sell flood insurance, homeowners usually purchase coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program, which is managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Flood insurance is something North Carolina homeowners may need
According to North Carolina Flood Insurance, North Carolina has received $456 million in federal assistance from 2000 to 2015. This was after severe storms, floods, and hurricanes. Five of the 10 most expensive hurricanes have hit North Carolina. Private insurance companies in North Carolina suffered losses of $57 million after Hurricane Sandy.
The Atlantic coast isn’t the only region in North Carolina at risk from flooding. All North Carolina areas are at risk from flooding, including severe floods. Most North Carolinians are not adequately insured for flood losses. Despite the Tarheel State being home to more than 4,000,000 residents, just 130,000 property owners had flood insurance in 2017. However, flooding is still a problem on more than 1.3 million acres of North Carolina property, which is worth $8 billion.
Flood damage is not covered by standard homeowners or renters insurance. NFIP policies pay up to $250,000 to residential building losses, and up to $100,000 to contents. You must purchase building and content coverage separately. Private flood insurance can offer greater limits and other benefits, including replacement cost coverage for structures and loss of usage, but it is more expensive.
Flood insurance costs in North Carolina
FEMA reports that flood claims from NFIP in 2019 averaged $52,000 across the country. In the same year homeowners paid an average flood insurance premium around $700. Private flood insurance policies are only offered by a few insurers, while the majority of flood insurance policies are administered by the federal government through the NFIP.
Private flood insurance companies may have different underwriting processes. The following factors may have an impact on the cost of NFIP Flood Insurance:
- Design and age of your property
- Flood zone where your property is located
- The property’s elevation and location
- Type of coverage: Building, contents, or both
- Deductible levels
To get the best insurance quote, ask for a quote from a provider who sells NFIP insurance or private flood insurance. Or speak to a licensed agent.
Flood insurance: When should you buy it?
Flood insurance is not recommended if you live in a flood zone with moderate or high risk. The North Carolina Flood Risk Information System website has a floodplain mapping tool that can help you determine your flood risk.
Most cases cannot be filed with the NFIP until 30 calendar days after buying a policy. This means that purchasing a policy when a storm is approaching may not provide protection. The NFIP does waive the 30-day waiting period in certain cases, including:
- You can buy a policy and refinance or take out a mortgage at the same time.
- Flood insurance policies that you have renewed. You can change your coverage.
- Flood damage that results from flooding or burning of federal property adjacent to the source
The NFIP reduces the waiting time by allowing you to purchase a commercial or residential property within one day of it being deemed high-risk.
How to buy flood insurance in North Carolina
Many insurance companies offer NFIP policies. These include Allstate and Geico. Ask your agent if they offer private flood insurance. The North Carolina Department of Insurance reports that all but 28 communities are part of the NFIP. The FEMA website has a provider look-up tool that allows you to find insurance companies who are part of the NFIC program. Flood insurance is available to homeowners, renters, and businesses. Flood insurance can be purchased at the closing of a home purchase.
How to file a NFIP flood insurance claims
Call (877) 332 2627 to file a NFIP claim. Contact the NFIP to take photos and videos of any damaged personal property. This includes contents of cabinets, closets, and exterior and internal structures. Photograph the serial number of appliances, such as a stove or refrigerator.
You can prevent mold by removing wet items like carpeting, curtains, and furniture. However, you should keep samples of the damaged items for the adjuster. You can request repairs for electrical, heating and air conditioning system damage before an adjuster comes to your home. However, keep the receipts.
You have two options when it comes to COVID-19 risk. Remote appointments can be more time-consuming as the adjuster may guide you through the documentation process. You may be asked for photographic or video documentation. They may also require measurements of exterior walls or interior spaces. The adjuster will be available to answer questions regarding your coverage and the claims process.
FEMA disaster assistance may be available to you if your home or business is damaged by a storm that qualifies for an official Presidential Disaster Declaration. FEMA disaster assistance may be available to help with expenses like temporary housing.
Questions frequently asked
Flood damage is covered by my homeowners insurance
How do I determine if my North Carolina house is at risk from flooding?
Navigate to the North Carolina Flood Risk Information System website to find out how flood risk your property is. You will receive your flood zone information, risk information, and estimates of flood insurance premiums for monthly and yearly.
What is the cost of flood insurance in North Carolina?
FEMA reported that NFIP policies cost on average $700 annually in 2019 across the country. However, flood insurance costs can vary based on many factors such as your flood zone, age and design of your home, and the coverages you choose.
Flood insurance: Where can I get it?
Use the FEMA website’s provider search tool to find insurance companies that offer NFIP policies. Nearly 30 North Carolina-based carriers offer NFIP policies, including Allstate Insurance, Auto-Owners Insurance and Homesite. Liberty Mutual, USAA, and Allstate are just a few examples. Private flood insurance can also be purchased from insurance companies.